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Ted’s Woodworking

by ss Daniel Kamesh kamesh (2019-05-27)

There is an Ted’s Woodworking Review estimated 2,000 maple producers in the state of Vermont and in 2011, those producers made approximately 1,140,000 gallons of maple syrup making Vermont the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. Of those producers, only 91 are "Certified Organic". In addition to compliance with the USDA National Organic Program standards, guidelines for certified organic maple syrup production in Vermont are drawn from many sources most notably the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, (NOFA-Vt.). Being Vermont "certified organic" requires the producer to work with registered foresters to develop a holistic forest management plan for the maple orchard to support it's health and vigor for generations to come. NOFA-VT places stringent standards for good forest management by establishing the diameter the maple trees must be before they can be tapped, limits the number of taps per tree to prevent over tapping ultimately damaging the tree, indicates the depth of the tap, where to position new taps above or below old tap wounds and recommends "health spouts" which have proven to be less invasive to the trees. NOFA-VT also spells out specific requirements for location of roads, drainage, regeneration of trees and thinning practices therefore promoting good stewardship of Vermont land for a sustainable maple orchard.There is a difference in Vermont maple syrup. Flavor is affected by tree genetics, soil type, weather conditions during sugaring season and how the maple sap is processed. Because Vermont certified organic farmers are inspected annually they are verified that they are complying with a Vermont Organic Farmers management plan. At least 10 per cent of all VOF certified producers receive a summer inspection, these surprise inspections are randomly selected and include both sugar house and forest. All processing machinery, tubing, bottling equipment, even the cleaning agents used to clean equipment is inspected. As a result of these inspections, Vermont produces some of the finest certified organic maple syrup with a complex flavor chemistry. Vermont also requires a higher minimum density of sugar than is required by regulations in other states.