Thursday, April 3, 2008

Could Amber Be The New Green For Farmers?

The CS Monitor reports maple sugarers are having a great year - Economic sweet spot: making maple syrup

Mr. Marsh says sugarmakers won't meet demand for the product, which has skyrocketed domestically and internationally, especially in Asia and Russia. "We're growing the market. Now we just need to grow production," he says.

Partly because of maple syrup's low-fat content and partly because of organic food's popularity, sugarmakers have been able to find new outlets beyond the familiar gallon jugs and plastic squeeze bottles found on store shelves. Dufresne sells syrup to several granola companies, a brewery, and breadmakers, all organizations that weren't interested in his crop five years ago.

"It's part of the interest in sustainable projects and it's good for carbon sequestering" because the trees are not cut down, says Marcia Maynard, a Cabot, Vt., organic sugarmaker, adding that her production is down this year but she believes it can rebound.

I love maple syrup on oatmeal in the morning and on vanilla ice cream in the evening. Want to produce your own maple syrup? (in Traverse City some people tap the maple trees along the sidewalk). MSU Extension has a guide: Homemade Maple Syrup