Vermont Governor Phil Scott joined the owners of Templeton Farm in East Montpelier today for the annual first tree-tapping, which is recognized as the start of the maple season. The ceremonial tree tap by the Governor underscores the cultural value of the maple season traditions and maple’s value as an agricultural crop.
“Our maple industry leads the nation, supports our economy, and strengthens the Vermont brand,” said Governor Scott. “We wouldn’t have the best maple in the world if it wasn’t for families like the Chapells here at Templeton Farm, and the many hard-working families and sugar makers who make us proud.”
The Templeton Farm in East Montpelier has operated a maple syrup business since 1810, which has been run by eight generations of the Chapell family. Bruce Chapell and sons Ryan and Seth Chapell currently operate the business.
“Vermont is the leading maple syrup producer in the nation, with nearly half of the country’s maple production coming from our state’s family farms like the Chapell’s,” Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. “In 2020, nearly 2 million gallons were produced with $54 million in sales, making maple the second largest agricultural crop in Vermont behind milk and highlighting the importance of this industry to our state.”
The season had a slow start because of cold temperatures, but this week’s warmer weather should trigger strong sap runs. The annual Maple Open House Weekend and other annual traditional maple activities are not happening as usual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but more information can be found at VermontMaple.org.
“Vermont maple is much more than a pancake topper these days. We are seeing it infused in barbeque sauces, hot sauces, spirits and beers, and it is even considered a healthy alternative to cane sugar as a natural sweetener,” said Allison Hope, Executive Director of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association. “Our state’s sugar makers have answered the call with increased maple trees in production, having more than doubled the number of taps since 2008.”