MetroFuture Walks & Talks: The Somerville Maple Syrup Boil Down

One of the strategies outlined in MAPC’s MetroFuture regional plan is the creation and strengthening of local food programs. Somerville, Mass., is one of the many cities and towns in our region that have embraced this concept. This coming Saturday, March 3, Friends of MetroFuture will check out the local food scene at the Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival, hosted at the Somerville Growing Center. We’ll join the experienced “city syrupers” from Groundwork Somerville and learn how maple syrup gets from the tree to your plate, the logistics of managing an urban sugar bush, and how to tap your own tree.

The boil down runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m,. and attendees who hang around after the MetroFuture tour can expect to enjoy syrup-tasting, children’s music by the Animal Farm, kids’ activities, and demonstrations. Waffles, syrup, hot drinks and Somerville Maple Syrup Project T-shirts will be on sale.

About the Somerville Maple Syrup Project:

The Somerville Maple Syrup Project is coordinated by Groundwork Somerville in partnership with the Friends of the Community Growing Center, Somerville Public Schools, Tufts University, and dedicated community volunteers. Every February, local maple trees are tapped, and the collected sap is stored for a 2-day public boil-down event.

Throughout the season, Groundwork Somerville staff, university students, and community volunteers teach a 4-week standards-based arts and science curriculum to 2nd graders in Somerville’s public schools and public library, as well as lead educational activities at the boil-down event. High school students working in the metal shop provide annual maintenance on the wood stove and evaporator pan they made in 2005. The syrup produced is given as thank you gifts to key partners and sold in small maple leaf jars at the Groundwork Somerville booth at the Union Square Farmer’s Market.

For information about The Maple Syrup Boil Down, the education series, or syrup production contact: Tai Dinnan at  or call 617-628-9988.

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Amanda Cleveland, MAPC’s MetroFuture Coordinator