Yesterday there was no snow so I decided to pay a visit to maple syrup farmer David Marvin at his processing plant in Morrisville, VT. For several years I have been interested in learning more about the maple syrup industry in relationship to issues of climate and sustainability. I may pursue a body of work in this direction. Part of my creative process involves research and this visit was very interesting.
I was given a tour of the bottling and processing plant which seemed to be the size of two big box home improvement stores put together. At this plant they bring in syrup from around New England and Canada to be bottled for private labels and turned into maple sugar and candy. After the tour I did a recorded audio interview of David Marvin about his business (Butternut Mountain Farm), issues of conservation, sustainability and the impacts of climate change upon his industry. The most interesting thing I learned about the operation is that the maple sugarbush forests Mr. Marvin owns and manages absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than they produce in all their operations including the freight, buildings, energy consumption etc. On average one gallon of maple syrup sequesters 255lbs of carbon. He also told me that he bottles for many stores nationwide, most of which he could not disclose, except he could tell me that he makes the store brand syrup for Whole Foods. He also makes a maple sugar sold there too. I plan to visit the farm next week and take some photographs, weather permitting. I have never been to a modern maple farm where they use tubing and vacuum pressure to bring the syrup to the sugar house.
David Marvin of Butternut Mountain Farm