Happy Earth Day 2019
We try to make everyday Earth Day, but in honor of today, here are a few of things we do to minimize our environmental impact. We still have a long way to go, but we're making progress and continuing to learn.
Our major focus is protecting forests and their biodiversity. Maple syrup provides some income that allows us to keep our lands forested and we work with other neighbors and family who want to keep their lands forested. Tapped creates the economic incentive to maintain forests to produce maple syrup, provide habitat for a diversity of animals and plants, absorb carbon, and filter and supply clean groundwater.
About 2/3 of our farm's electrical needs are offset by solar power (thanks to our grid-connected solar PV installed by North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative. Our other major energy source is wood, which is all harvested nearby and is a carbon-neutral energy source.
Our infused syrups use local and/or organic ingredients. Our ginseng is sourced from Hsu's Ginseng Enterprise Inc. in Marathon County and our coffee beans are roasted by Liberation Farmers (who direct harvest these beans from sustainably grown coffee plantations in Oaxaca, Mexico) and Mission Coffee House. All of our non-local ingredients are certified organic, (in the future, we're hoping to get our ginger from Cattail Organics!).
All of our syrups are bottled in glass as we don't think eating/drinking plastic with your syrup is healthy and because glass is completely inert and recyclable.
And, we donate at least 5% of our profits to Central Rivers Farmshed to support a sustainable food system in central Wisconsin.
In the future, we'd love to be able to complete eliminate our direct petroleum use, formally and permanently protect the forests from which we make and buy maple syrup, and restore some current agricultural lands to forests.