We shared the news last year about Stockton University’s Maple Syrup project. We did a product review here and performed an actual taste testing of this special Osprey sweet nectar.

It’s a truly delicious maple syrup. It rivals any maple syrup that you can get in Vermont.

Today, we can update this story by sharing with you that The Maple Grant project at Stockton University has been awarded a second grant of nearly $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its maple syrup production in the region.

In 2020, Stockton received a grant from the USDA to promote maple sugaring research and outreach. Both of the grants are being paid over a three-year period.

The new grant award is for use with “production hubs” in South Jersey counties and Philadelphia. Each hub will receive equipment to collect sap and produce maple syrup.

The Grant provides funds to assist with the set up of their operations. The collaboration requires In exchange, that hub owners agree to tap trees on their property and receive syrup from local community members.

“The second grant is about getting the industry started. This requires two things: People who are excited to produce syrup and a community that is excited to taste and buy the syrup. We need what Vermont has,” said Aaron Stoler, a Stockton University assistant professor of Environmental Science who is leading the grant team.

90 red maple trees are tapped on the Stockton campus and in backyards throughout the region.

“The first grant was about building engagement and excitement and developing a sugarbush on campus to show people a Vermont-style sugarbush in southern New Jersey,” Stoler said.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and long hours in the forest this fall to expand our sugarbush to 400 trees for this tapping season. I have enjoyed nearly every second of it because it is so peaceful and quiet working in the forest,” said Ryan Hegarty.

Hegarty graduated from Stockton University this year with an Environmental Science degree.

The syrup produced on Stockton’s campus is not for sale, yet. Much research will be done to achieve optimal collection and production methods. All produced syrup will be donated for the foreseeable future.

In 2023, the Stockton maple syrup will be available for purchase. The revenue generated will help sustain Stockton’s hub and handle all repairs and employ students, who will gain valuable experience.

SOURCE: Stockton University.

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