Jerome Rigot and I just returned from the last of the maple syrup inspections in the north woods of Somerset County, Maine. In order to access these sugar camps, located in the unorganized territory of Seboomook Lake, we stay in St. Georges, Quebec, and must cross in and out of Maine each day using obscure border crossings.
A few feet of snow still covers the ground in these woods. Although it does not look particularly mountainous, this maple syrup producing region is about 1500 feet above sea level. When sap in lower elevation sugarbush areas in Maine and Quebec have ceased to flow, producers here are still making syrup.
The producers are Quebecois and many have been making syrup for generations in these Maine woods. While some of the camps look quite rustic, the equipment used to concentrate sap and boil it into syrup is state of the art.
When we add up all the taps in sugar maple trees that are part of the organic system plans we approve, we get nearly one million. That comes to about 265,000 gallons of MOFGA-certified organic maple syrup.
We want to give special thanks to Adam Lee (Lee Toyota in Topsham) for providing us with an awesome Toyota Tundra 4X4 for this most recent trip. The logging roads we have to travel on feature the best of winter and mud season this time of year!
MOFGA Certification Services Director