Change in an unexpected quarter

The discovery, by Abby van Den Berg and Tim Perkins of the University of Vermont, that maple sap can be pulled from a sapling’s roots under vacuum, rather dripping by gravity into a bucket attached to a mature tree, could revolutionize the maple syrup industry. Is that a good thing? Laura Sorkin isn’t so sure. And yet,

There has always been a romantic notion of the tradition of gathering sap in buckets with horse drawn sleighs and boiling it down over a wood-fired pan. That image has already been replaced by tubing instead of buckets, four-wheelers instead of horses and sugar houses that resemble modern factories.