Stockton University’s attempt to make South Jersey a maple syrup hub received another boost with a second $500,0000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.`

The first grant, also $500K, came in 2020. According to an article in The Press of Atlantic City, Stockton is investigating the viability of using red maples for the production of maple syrup. Typically, sugar maples are used for syrup because of its sap’s higher sugar content, but Stockton researchers are investigating whether modern extraction techniques could turn areas with a lot of red maples (like southern NJ) into syrup producing areas.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, “The second grant is about getting the industry started,” said Aaron Stoler, a Stockton University assistant professor of Environmental Science who is leading the grant team. “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.”

Money from the grant will be used to set up maple syrup production hubs in South Jersey and Philadelphia to produce and collect syrup. The grant will also go to consulting costs involved in helping people set up their own maple syrup operations.

Stockton has built up their maple syrup production facility to include 400 maple trees that empty into a central tank which, according to the Press, could result in 4,000 gallons of sap which could then be boiled down to 60-80 gallons of syrup.

The syrup produced by Stockton will not be offered for sale since it is for research purposes but will instead be donated.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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