Photo credit: Vermont Maple Sugar Makers
During April of 2009 I visited the Proctor Maple Research Center (PMRC), to interview staff about their sugaring operation and maple research. During the 1990’s I worked at the University of Vermont as a research technician and was stationed at PMRC to conduct atmospheric chemistry research, one of many ecologically-based research projects at the Center. The main focus of the Center is on maple research with a state-of-the-art facility that fulfills their mission of research, demonstration and education. PMRC is located in Underhill Center, Vermont, in a beautiful forested setting at the base of Mount Mansfield. While working there I observed many wildlife species such as bear, moose, deer, birds, amphibians and insects, and looked forward every spring to blooming ephemeral wildflowers. There is an old ski trail system that winds through the Center and at one time circumnavigated Mount Mansfield, the Madonna Vasa, which I had the pleasure to ski on many times.
The Proctor Center was established in 1946 with the donation of the former Harvey Farm in Underhill Center to the University of Vermont by Governor Mortimer Proctor. There about 200 acres of wooded and open land around the Center and approximately 35-40 acres are an actively managed sugarbush for maple syrup production and research. They set out approximately 1,550 taps to produce 750 to 950 gallons of maple syrup each year. The sugarhouse is used for research and maple syrup production.
Below is a video interview with Sugaring Operations Manager Brian Stowe. He discusses the process of making sap into syrup at the PMRC sugarhouse.