Somerville Maple Syrup project is in the Food Section of the Boston Globe today! Read the entire article by clicking here.
Somerville project teaches vital lessons
By Aaron Kagan
Globe Correspondent / March 2, 2011
There are no picturesque cabins tucked into snowy woods on the streets of Somerville and Medford. But there is sap from maples. And urban trees can yield sweet results. The Somerville Maple Syrup Project taps trees in both cities and will turn the sap into syrup at its annual boil down this weekend.
“Doing urban agriculture is a whole different beast from doing rural agriculture,’’ says Groundwork Somerville gardens coordinator Tai Dinnan, who heads the project. The effort is coordinated by her group, a nonprofit organization that takes a creative approach to community development. Its members want to raise awareness about urban agriculture and healthy eating.
The effort isn’t without obstacles. “Things that are easy to do in a rural area, like building a wood fire, are illegal to do in a city.’’ says Dinnan. But you need fire to boil syrup, so the group will use a wood stove, built by a Somerville High School class. Sap comes only from healthy trees not directly exposed to road salt or car pollution. Residents with sugar maples in their yards are invited to donate the use of their trees. Tufts University students volunteer for the project, and several trees on the campus are tapped.