Franklin Countys First News

Temple Tappers highlighted in virtual Common Ground Fair

The Temple Tappers will go virtual this fall along with the rest of the Common Ground Fair.

TEMPLE - A list of the world’s rarest foods often includes saffron which needs 75,000 flowers to produce a single pound of the spice. Lesser known and exotic foods, such as Almas Caviar, from a rare breed of Sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, Kopi Luwak Coffee Beans, harvested from the droppings of a civet, and Raw Heart of a Puffin, these days an unusual menu item in Iceland, would also make the list.

But an equally rare though more sustainable delicacy is Pure Birch Syrup. Birch syrup requires 120 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. The birch sap season can be as short as a few days and hardly ever longer than 3 weeks.

And as rare as the product itself is the producers themselves are even rarer. A rough count of birch producers around the globe finds only a total of 50 including one in Maine.

The Temple Tappers ( is a family-run enterprise located in the hills of Western Maine in the town of Temple, one of two towns in Maine you can drive to, but not through. On their two hundred acre farm, Susie Dennison, Michael Romanyshyn and their two sons Auley and Maurice, spend a good part of the year doing what only a few others do around the world, preparing a grove of birch trees to collect sap. And although the work is similar to what a maple syrup producer does, the making of the syrup itself differs in several ways.

Birch syrup is not easy to make. In addition to the quantity of sap needed, the syrup itself can burn easily and needs to be boiled down with care and constant attention. The Temple Tappers have developed a method after 8 years that in 2020 they believe produced their best tasting birch syrup ever.

In past years, you could find the Temple Tappers Pure Birch Syrup and Apple Birch Syrup only at the annual Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine (and a few local stores and mail order). This year, because of pandemic The Maine Organic Farmers Association is holding a virtual fair instead of the live event which has traditionally drawn crowds of 30,000 or more. The virtual fair will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 25, 26 and 27 at

The Temple Tappers will be live all of the Common Ground Country Fair days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with virtual tastings, cooking demonstrations, and answers to all questions.
Meeting ID: 859 9917 1795

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