A sweet start for Somerville Maple Syrup Project

On December 1, 2010, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Tai Dinnan of Groundwork assists Kennedy School students with tapping a local maple tree during the 2010 Maple Syrup Project. - Photo courtesy of Tai Dinnan, Groundwork.

2011 project kicks off with fundraiser brunch on December 4

By Elizabeth Sheeran

Maple sausage Belgian waffles.  Apricot maple-glazed ham steaks. Maple pancake breakfast wraps. These are just a few of the mouth-watering maple-inspired specials that will be on the brunch menu at The Independent restaurant and bar in Union Square this Saturday, December 4.

Groundwork Somerville is gearing up to start tapping local maple trees next month as part of this winter’s Maple Syrup Project. The non-profit is also looking to tap into local support for the annual city-wide educational program, starting with this weekend’s brunch.

The Independent will donate 20 percent of proceeds from Maple Syrup Project supporters who order brunch between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will open an hour early for the occasion. Patrons can further support the project at any time on December 4 by ordering a special maple-inspired cocktail. And the event is also a way for community members who want to get involved to learn more about the project.

The Maple Syrup Project offers weekly in-school and outdoor classes to second graders in Somerville public schools, from late-January through early March. Students learn about the changing seasons, the anatomy of trees, and the legends, history and process of syrup making. The program culminates with Somerville’s annual maple syrup Boil Down event, which this year is scheduled for Saturday, March 5.

School Gardens Coordinator Tai Dinnan said Groundwork works with teachers to build a curriculum that combines science, math, social studies and reading. “It’s reaching a lot of different subjects, but all connecting it around gaining a greater appreciation for urban trees,” said Dinnan. “It’s also an opportunity to get students outdoors learning about the environment at a time of year when they’re usually inside.”

Dinnan said space at Saturday’s brunch event is limited, so reservations are recommended.

Guests can reserve a seat by calling 617-440-6022 and saying they’ll be supporting the Somerville Maple Syrup Project. For more information on the Maple Syrup Boil Down, the education series or syrup production, contact Dinnan at: tai@groundworksomerville.org.


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