A year in the life of one New England family as they work to preserve an ancient, lucrative, and threatened agricultural art--the sweetest harvest, maple syrup...How has one of Americas oldest agricultural crafts evolved from a quaint enterprise with sugar parties and the delicacy sugar on snow to a modern industry?At a sugarhouse owned by maple syrup entrepreneur Bruce Bascom, 80,000 gallons of sap are processed daily during winters end.
In The Sugar Season, Douglas Whynott follows Bascom through one tumultuous season, taking us deep into the sugarbush, where sunlight and sap are intimately related and the sound of the taps gives the woods a rhythm and a ring.
Along the way, he reveals the inner workings of the multimillion-dollar maple sugar industry. Make no mistake, its big business--complete with a Maple Hall of Fame, a black market, a major syrup heist monitored by Homeland Security, a Canadian organization called The Federation, and a Global Strategic Reserve thats comparable to OPEC (fitting, since a barrel of maple syrup is worth more than a barrel of oil).Whynott brings us to sugarhouses, were we learn the myriad subtle flavors of syrup and how its assigned a grade.
He examines the unusual biology of the maple tree that makes syrup possible and explores the maples--and the industrys--chances for survival, highlighting a hot-button issue: how global warming is threatening our food supply. Experts predict that, by the end of this century, maple syrup production in the United States may suffer a drastic decline.As buckets and wooden spouts give way to vacuum pumps and tubing, we see that even the best technology cant overcome warm nights in the middle of a season--and that only determined men like Bascom can continue to make a sweet like off of rugged land.
Hardcover: 304 pages Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (March 4, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 0306822040 ISBN-13: 978-0306822049 Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces ()