Vermont and Canada are famous for producing maple syrup, but Stockton University is hoping to add South Jersey to the list.
With the help of federal grants, the university is using modern technology, such as reverse osmosis and vacuum assist pumps, to turn sap from red maple trees on campus into maple syrup.
“It’s been a crazy start to the season. We’ve had so much sap,” Ryan Hegarty, assistant director of the Stockton Maple Grant, said. “You’re spending a lot of hours in the forest and around the fire, and it’s a great time to share stories with friends and families and bond over the experience of turning sap to syrup.”
South Jersey is not known for making maple syrup due in part to its warmer climate.
Judith Vogel, the Stockton Maple Grant’s director, said it’s been incredible to see the growth in their production.
“Joy, actually, a lot of joy,” Vogel said. “We’re now in production in a real way in South Jersey.”
She said they want to expand beyond the university by distributing South Jersey-made maple syrup to local restaurants, schools and farmers markets.
“This is just a grant and a project all about building community,” Vogel said. “It’s about bringing people together.”