Numbers Of Backyard Maple Sugar Operations On Rise

03/01/10 6:06AM

The sap is flowing in northern New England and officials say a spike in prices has encouraged more people to set up backyard maple syrup operations.

Henry Marckres is a maple specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, and says the state has seen a tremendous increase in recent years in the number of people who have a few maples on their property and want to produce syrup.

Two years ago, a syrup shortage caused prices to soar to $60 a gallon. Now, the average retail price is about $48 a gallon.

Marckres says the economy and an interest in producing local food are also driving the syrup-making.

He estimates there are about 2,000 small producers in Vermont.

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