Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hear & Now Radio: The Great Maple Syrup Heist

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Great Maple Syrup Heist

A variety of pure maple syrup containers are displayed at Ben's Sugar Shack in Temple, N.H., in February 2012. (Charles Krupa/AP)
A variety of pure maple syrup containers are displayed at Ben’s Sugar Shack in Temple, N.H., in February 2012. (Charles Krupa/AP)

Did you know that the greatest agricultural theft ever was of maple syrup?

Last year, six million pounds of maple syrup, valued at 18 million dollars, was stolen from the Global Maple Syrup Reserve in northern Québec province.

Bloomberg Businessweek writer Brendan Borrell told Here & Now’s Robin Young that it would have taken more than 100 tractor trailers to transport that amount of syrup.
The Federation of Québec Maple Syrup Producers was established in order to stabilize prices and allow for a year-long supply of syrup to make up for the relatively short production season at the end of winter.

But after discovering numerous empty barrels – or barrels filled with water – Canadian law enforcement officials launched an investigation. Eventually they found a link between syrup middleman Richard Vallières and Etienne St. Pierre, a well-known syrup trafficker in Kedgwick, New Brunswick.

Unlike Québec, New Brunswick has no syrup federation, so producers can sell to whomever they want without any production quotas.

While the Federation can sue St. Pierre in civil court, it is still unclear whether he broke criminal laws. Nevertheless, Borrell mentions how St. Pierre could be an ideological leader.

“I personally see him as a bit of hero for his cause, which is the free market,” Borrell said.
Maple syrup trades at about 32 dollars a gallon, 13 times the price of crude oil.

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Main Line Media News: Maple Syrup Events in Wissahickon, PA

Making maple syrup in the Wissahickon

Wissahickon Environmental Center presents a day of hands-on activities and demonstrations that celebrate the end of winter with the making of pure maple syrup. Take the family to the Wissahickon Valley for this annual celebration of the maple tree on Feb. 23 from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m..

Included is a tour of the sugar bush, an area of maple trees, where participants learn to identify the sugar maple tree, tap the tree, and collect the tree’s sap- the only ingredient in pure maple syrup.

Demonstrations will include boiling the sap into syrup, and making maple candy.

Storytellers will tell how the Native Americans discovered this purely North American treat. Visitors can compare maple syrup to other pancake toppings in a taste test. Top off the day by tasting pure maple syrup over delicious pancakes. Pennsylvania maple syrup and candy will be for sale. The event is free, but donations will be accepted.
It all takes place on Wissahickon (Forbidden) Drive in Wissahickon Park at Northwestern Ave. (off of Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill)

For further information phone 215-685-9285 or go to

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Barista Kids: Fun Maple Events in New Jersey in 2013

Sweet, Syrupy Fun: Maple Sugaring Events

BY  |  Monday, Jan 28, 2013 8:00am  |                                

You don’t need to head north to Vermont for fresh maple syrup. The beginning of the maple sugar season is starting right here in New Jersey and runs through March.
Get the family bundled up and head outdoors to one of the following maple sugaring events and/or festivals. You’ll learn all about how to tap a tree and get to taste Jersey maple syrup:

Maple Sugaring Demonstrations
All ages.
What: The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center is celebrating the maple sugaring season! Join the fun by attending one of the weekend tapping demonstrations and learn how to identify and tap maple tree, make syrup over a wood-fried evaporator, and taste different syrups!
Where: The Great Swamp OEC, 247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ.
When: Weekends throughout January and February. Check calendar here.
Cost: $3 per person. Call 973.635.6629 for more information.

Maple Sugaring
All ages.
What: Witness how maple trees are tapped, learn about sap collecting methods from past and present, and experience the boiling process that produces NJ maple syrup. Take a one-half-mile walk to the sugar shack from the environmental center.
Where: Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ.
When: February 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 / March 2, 3, 9, 10
Saturdays – 10 am, Noon, and 2 pm
Sundays – Noon and 2 pm
Cost: Call 908.766.2489 for more information.

Maple Sugaring
Kids ages 4 – 12.
What: Tap a maple tree, collect sap, and make maple syrup. Return to the center for hot chocolate and sugar snacks.
Where: Essex County Environmental Center, 621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ.
When: Saturday, February 11 from 10:30 am – 12 pm.
Cost: $5 members, $7 nonmembers

Garden Discoveries at Van Vleck
 Ages 3 to 5 with an adult.
What: Join us at Van Vleck House & Gardens for an afternoon of discovery in and around the gardens. Each program will include a guided hike, hands-on activities and a story. Parents or caregivers must accompany each child.
Where: Van Vleck House & Gardens, 21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair, NJ.
When: Wednesday, February 27 (Maple Sugaring)
Cost: $7 per child who are friends of Van Vleck and $12 per child for others. No fee for accompanying adults. To register, call (973) 744-4752 ex.11 or email Michelle Wiessner.

Maple Sugar Festival
All ages.
What: Excite your senses with maple syrup snow cones and taste tests. Take part in crafts, games, tree tapping demos, and more!  Join a “Hiking through Sugaring  History” walk to see how sugaring has evolved since it started with the Native Americans.  The entire family is sure to enjoy this fun filled day of sugary sappy goodness.
Where: The Great Swamp OEC, 247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ.
When: Saturday, March 2 from 12 pm – 4 pm.
Cost: $4 per person. Call 973.635.6629 for more information.

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