Maple Sugaring in the City

Last weekend, I attended Russells’ Winter Fair to educate guests about organic landcare and NOFA.  I shared a table with Natick Community Organic Farm, which is hosting a maple sugaring festival this Saturday, March 6, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m..  They’ll start out with a pancake breakfast, then demonstrate Native American and Colonial sugaring techniques, as well as offering tours of their modern maple sugaring operation.

This year, even city-dwellers seem to be taking note of maple sugaring season.  Urban community farms and gardening programs have increased awareness by soliciting help from homeowners, one tree at a time.  Natick Community Organic Farm reached out to homeowners and local municipalities to reach their goal of tapping 100 trees to supply the syrup for next weekend’s pancake breakfast.  In Somerville, the town with the highest population density in  New England, elementary school students learn to tap trees in neighbors’ yards with  Groundworks Somerville.

It takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.  In a city like Somerville that has approx. 2.5 times more people than trees, it really does “take a village” to make syrup.