Saturday, March 3, 2007

Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of Maple Sugar

Pam Belluck, writing in the New York Times on 3 March, reports, "Warmer-than-usual winters are throwing things out of kilter, causing confusion among maple syrup producers, called sugar makers, and stoking fears for the survival of New England’s maple forests."

To read more, click here.

She focused on the problems in Vermont: "We can’t rely on tradition like we used to,” said Mr. [Burr] Morse, 58, who once routinely began the sugaring season by inserting taps into trees around Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday in March, and collecting sap to boil into syrup up until about six weeks later. The maple’s biological clock is set by the timing of cold weather. For at least 10 years some farmers have been starting sooner. But last year Mr. Morse tapped his trees in February and still missed out on so much sap that instead of producing his usual 1,000 gallons of syrup, he made only 700."

Have you been having difficulties in recent years? How have you coped with the changes in weather patterns?

No comments: