This is the first video documenting a cooperative local sugaring effort that happens every year at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. It’s mid-February and the smallest hint of spring is in the air. The robins are returning, the woodcocks are finding places to nest, and the silver maples are just starting to flow with sap. Sugar maples like a colder climate, but If you live south of the zone where sugar maples can grow, you don’t have do without delicious local maple syrup. Silver maples like warmer climates and produce almost as much sugar in their sap as sugar maples.
Sugar is a big part of our diet, and most sugar we eat is produced in tropical regions, highly processed, and shipped thousands of miles to wind up on our grocery store shelf. Yet native trees all around us produce an abundance of sugar every year, sugar that we could be harvesting and using in place of tropical sugar. Producing maple syrup doesn’t require us to alter natural habitats in any way. We don’t have to till the land, cultivate, or use pesticides, and taking the sap doesn’t hurt the trees. It is the perfect example of permaculture in action. In this video, we set up taps on our nearby “sugar bushes” and dream about an abundant harvest of syrup this season.