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PIECES OF VERMONT
Owned & operated by
RES eCom, Inc.
PO Box 578
Jacksonville, VT 05342
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Maple Sugaring: Cold Hollow Career Center
It's more than a Vermont Tradition, it's an essential vocation!
Nestled deep in the snowy woods of northern Vermont is a maple sugarhouse like no other, the Cold Hollow Career Center sugarhouse. Cold Hollow is
one of the largest high school sugaring programs in the United States. The sugarhouse was built by students from the combined foresty programs of
Enosburg and Richford high schools in Franklin County. What makes this sugarhouse operation especially unique is that it offers students who may not
want to go on to college an alternative career choice, teaching them a valuable trade, maple sugaring.
View Maple 101 news story - Aired 3/20/2009.
Be sure to click on the MiVT: Maple 101 link (above the first picture) to watch the news video in its entirety. Produced by...
WCAX-TV Channel 3 News
Anyhone who has talked with Vermont's dairy farmers knows that dairy farming is getting tougher every year, and maple money is often a
vital revenue supplement to farming. Like farming though, maple sugaring is very hard work. Often long, exhausting days are spent gathering sap
from sometimes hundreds of maple trees, known as the sugar bush or sugargrove. Many hours are then spent in the sugarhouse with the evaporator, boiling down the sap into maple syrup.
Maple sap needs to be boiled down relatively soon after it is gathered from the sugargrove, and it takes 40 gallons of sap on average to make just
1 gallon of maple syrup. In addition, maple sap generally only "runs" for about 3-4 weeks each spring, from late February into early April.
The result, a mad dash to collect as much sap and boil as much maple syrup as possible in a very short amount of time. Then there's the science of it!
The science of maple sugaring is equally as important as the physical work required, and that's where the Cold Hollow Career Center comes in.
Under the direction of Ed Lidster who oversees the sugaring operation, students learn the ins and outs of the craft. Lidster is a graduate
of the University of Vermont and worked at the university's Proctor Maple Research Lab, where he studied under guru sugarmaker Sumner Williams.
To say that Cold Hollow students will need to
learn the skills necessary to be an expert at maple sugaring is not an overstatement by any means. Vermont has a strictly enforced maple grading law,
controlling standards of density, flavor and color.1 Vermont maple syrup meets or exceeds the standards of
quality, purity and density of all maple producing states and provinces.2 Vermont syrup is 100% natural with nothing added. 3
Simply put, Vermont syrup must be perfect, pure, natural, and delicious.
In addition to learning the sugaring process from start to finish, the program also teaches students the principles of logging, forest management, stream bank management, and Christmas tree farming.
The program emphasizes a hands-on approach, from learning how to tap the trees and operate the evaporator right down to the syrup grading, barreling and delivery to the customer,
PIECES OF VERMONT® merchant Gift Baskets by Kim. We are very pleased to say that a large portion of the
maple syrup, including the popular Grade B Maple Syrup sold through this website comes from the Cold Hollow Career Center.
In 2007 Gift Baskets by Kim owner Kim Dudley and her husband were introduced to the Cold Hollow Career Center by a friend of the family and
senior student in the program. After learning about the program Kim says,...
"I wanted my business to be part of this wonderful program. My husband and I met with
instructor Ed Lidster and we talked about purchasing their syrup to sell online. He said yes, and we purchased all but one barrel of
Cold Hollow's delicious syrup, and sold it all.
We are happy to say that we are offering their syrup again this year, and hope to be able to purchase it in years to come. Working alongside Cold Hollow allows
us the opportunity to give back to the community and that is the best part." - Kim Dudley.
2009 Photo Gallery
2008 Photo Gallery
More Maple information:
- PIECES OF VERMONT also gets syrup from the Robb Family Farm sugarhouse & small working dairy farm, W. Brattleboro Vermont.
Open to the Public. The Robb's sell their Vermont maple syrup
in traditional style syrup cans. Learn more...
- Shearer Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast has a wonderful sugarhouse that's also Open to the Public. Visit them in March and help them make maple syrup!
1., 2., 3. Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association & Vermont Maple Foundation