From Backyard Sugarer to Commercial Syrup Production

Introduction to the Project:

BRDC’s Doug Munroe of Warrensville, North Carolina lives along the northwest edge of the Amphibolite Mountains. He has worked this rocky slope for 34 years and currently operates a tree nursery there. The land rests at an elevation of about 3,400 feet upon very rich amphibolite soils. The mountain directly behind his house climbs to a height of 4,600 feet, a transition that happens in less than a half a mile. Very rich soils, very high rainfall amounts, and high elevations have created a forest dominated by yellow poplar and sugar maple. Selectively cutting the poplars is increasing the already dominate presence of Sugar Maple trees. It is Doug's hope to soon utilize this forest of Sugar Maples for commercial maple syrup production. With some simple improvements to techniques of harvesting and processing sap he plans to produce about 15 gallons of syrup this coming year.
Doug is seeking a grant from the Tobacco Community Reinvestment Fund to jump start this project. This resource is offered by the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI). RAFI "cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just and environmentally sound family farms" (see link to website below). It is hoped that this grant will cover the costs of purchasing an evaporator, a tube cleaner and a 750 gallon sap tank. The evaporator will allow for syrup production to increase 3-fold above the current capacity.
Links: Doug is seeking a grant offered by: http://www.rafiusa.org/ (Specific information about the reinvestment fund : www.rafiusa.org/programs/tobacco/tobacco.html )

Links to other updates:
Introduction
November
December