Teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland
The State of Vermont is full of sugar maples and Merck Forest is no different. Sugar maples have been tapped to produce maple syrup for hundreds of years, and we have been producing it here for over sixty. The equipment we use, the sugarhouse we boil sap in and even the sugarbush size and location have all changed over the years. These changes have been in response to shifting maple sugaring technologies, market prices and our organization's resources. What has remained constant is Merck Forest's commitment to demonstrating how to employ current technology to this favorite Vermont pastime.
Of our 3,000 acres of forestland, approximately 250 acres are used to produce maple sap. Currently, we lease out 180 acres and about 10,000 taps to a local sugarmaker and in 2012 we developed a 40-acre sugarbush near the farm center. This newer sugarbush contains about 3,000 taps for Merck Forest's maple syrup production. All the sap that comes from Merck Forest's land is 100% certified organic by the Vermont Organic Farmers, LLC.'s, Organic Certification Program.
Spring 2012: Arrival of new evaporator
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