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Behind the Bottle of Vermont Maple Syrup with Forester Sarah Ford

Maple syrup is a pure, natural product that travels from the tree to your table. The health of the sugarbush, and the trees, is a significant part of producing the Vermont maple syrup we love to slather over stacks of pancakes. Whether you’re curious about behind the bottle scenes of maple syrup production or are interested in sugar making yourself, you’ll want to tune into this WDEV’s Vermont Viewpoint episode.

We’re thrilled that our forestry consultant, Sarah Ford, was able to represent Butternut Mountain Farm on WDEV Vermont Viewpoint on their January 28th episode “Northeast Dairy Innovation Center and Maple Sugaring”. Host Ric Cengeri chats with Mark Isselhardt, UVM Extension Maple Specialist about sugaring and our very own Sarah Ford joins the conversation.

Sarah has been with the Butternut Mountain Farm team as a consulting forester for 2 years but has been in the forestry field for 20 years. At the time of the interview, Sarah was in the midst of tapping in the Johnson sugarbush. “The weather has been accommodating,” she communicates to us office bound folks. She continues to report, “If the temperature is less than 15 degrees we don’t tap because the trees are too frozen and the holes will split. The woods have been snowy and beautiful.”

In the conversation, Sarah eloquently elaborates on the Johnson sugarbush, tackling a myriad of topics from tree health, regeneration, the importance of diversity, and how long a sugar maker can tap a Sugar Maple. The answer is more complex than the allotted interview time allows, but Sarah was able to offer something. We sugar makers will tap trees as long as we can. It’s entire life,” she responds with a laugh.

As for how the tree tapping went for Butternut Mountain Farm this year? Ford tells us that, “tapping went really well! Our crew of 5 kicked butt!”

Give the episode a listen to learn more about the workings of a Vermont sugarbush during and beyond sugaring season, as well as what goes in to getting that Vermont pure, maple syrup that is so cherished on tables around the world.