It’s maple harvesting season! Find out about this Northeastern staple this week, as we take a deep dive into the delicious syrup we all know and love. We’ll visit a maple festival and pageant in Upstate New York, discover the challenges harvesters face as our climate changes, and learn about a recent conflict between Indigenous farmers and the Detroit police that had maple at its crux.
Further Reading and Listening:
This year’s Maple Queen Pageant will take place on Friday, April 1st, 2022. It will kick off the CNY Maple Festival’s 50th year. You can learn more on the festival’s Facebook page or at http://www.maplefestival.org.
You can order Dave’s maple syrup at https://hillsborosugarworks.com. You can also find them @hillsborosugarworks on Instagram.
In 2018, Dr. Tim Perkins, the director of the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center presented several studies on maple production and climate change, one of which predicted that the number of suitable sugaring days in the Lake Champlain Basin would decrease due to climate change (from about 60 days in the 1970s to 49 days by mid- to late century). Thus far, major improvements in sap collection technology have offset or even reversed the loss in yield that could have come with shortening seasons.
The 2021 Vermont sugaring season saw a 21 percent decrease in production from 2020, after decades of increasing maple production.
For more from Proctor Maple Research Center, visit their website. Read the Future of Vermont Agriculture Action Plan here, and listen to The Farm Report episode on Vermont maple production, also featuring Mark Isselhardt, here.
Jerry Jondreau co-authored the “Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu” about the impact of climate change on our lives and on maple specifically. This document aims to bridge the gap for non-tribal people to follow Indigenous footsteps in environmental protection.
To learn more about Jerry Jondreau and Dynamite Hill Farm, visit their Facebook page. Get to know the Detroit Sugarbush Project here, and read about the police shutdown in Detroit here,
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