A total of 4.2 million gallons of maple syrup was produced in the United States last year and Vermont produced 49% of that
amount with New York State and Maine being the second and third largest producers. But it was not always miles of sap lines
and vacuum systems to gently pull the sap from the trees and reverse osmosis to remove much of the water prior to boiling. When sugaring season begins, and it may only last 35 days, is when I am most proud of my maternal grandfather, Edward H. Jones who was Vermont’s Commissioner of Agriculture from 1924 to 1944 working under eight Vermont Governors. Ed recognized the need for cleanliness to make the higher grades of maple syrup, with advice such as “gather sap from clean, covered pails” and introduced maple syrup labels for the cans proudly stating “fully guaranteed under the pure food laws to contain nothing but the product of maple.”
Ed was also a leader in developing maple cream as a commercial product and proudly shipped Valley Mead Farm products across the United States. We have made real progress in the direction of producing better quality farm stuff and getting it to market. Ed was proud to advertise and market maple products and even had a miniature sugarhouse which he loaded on trains and showed the sugaring process at conventions and expositions around the states. My ninth-generation nieces and nephews still use this structure today. I sincerely hope you will visit a sugarhouse this year and try some “sugar on snow” with plain donuts and sour pickles which is a long-standing Vermont tradition and possibly remember the man who was looking into the future so long ago.
By Dave Jamieson, Broker