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Reverse Osmosis System Saves Money and Time During Maple Sugaring Process

Reverse Osmosis

By Beth Ann Finlay

On a recent site visit to Grafton County, NRCS State Conservation Engineer Jade Nield, State Conservationist Rick Ellsmore, and Earth Team Volunteer Tom Cappetta stopped by Maple Leaf Farm in Lyme, NH to visit with Sugarmaker Rich Menge. Rich showed them how his newly installed Reverse Osmosis (RO) System saved him energy and time this sugaring season.  His two post H20 Innovations brand system was funded through a cost-share agreement with NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP).  Rich tapped 1500 Sugar Maple Trees and processed 14-21 gallons of syrup per hour thanks to the RO, concentrating the sugar content of the sap from 2% to 14-20% when combined with a Steam Away Hood above his evaporator, which NRCS also helped finance.  Rich realized energy savings of .6 gallons of oil per gallon of syrup produced . . . and that adds up since he made 783 gallons of delicious organically-certified syrup this year! All that and he was in bed in time to keep his day job and literally did not have to burn the midnight oil!  For more information on practices to help with Forest Management and your maple operation, contact your local NRCS office. NRCS field offices are located in Concord, Conway, Epping, Lancaster, Milford, Orford, and Walpole. NRCS works with local conservation districts and other partners to serve farmers and landowners throughout the state.