Getting syrup savvy: Maple syrup production topic of Saturday workshop at Fabric of Life

  • Co-founders of Fabric of Life in Shelburne, Leni Marcy and Becky Anderson, are bringing a seven-hour syrup workshop to the nonprofit on Saturday. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 3/11/2020 6:53:59 PM
Modified: 3/11/2020 6:53:49 PM

SHELBURNE — For those looking to take a deep dive into maple syrup and its production, there will be a seven-hour workshop through Fabric of Life, a non-profit program dedicated to passing on useful knowledge and skills.

The workshop, instructed by David Cantieni, will be held Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m., finishing with a pancake dinner and screening of the film “Ben’s Mill.” Fabric of Life is located at 80 Bassett Road.

Cantieni will teach participants the steps of harvesting and processing maple syrup, and teach them how to identify maples by bark and shape. He will also discuss sugar house design and teach guests how to tap a tree.

Fabric of Life co-founder and Executive Director Becky Ashenden said this is the first year the non-profit is hosting a maple sugaring event.

“Our hope is to build our own sugarhouse here, gathering folks to be part of these activities, to witness them, to continue to educate people and have a good time with each other,” Ashenden said.

She said the intention of Fabric of Life is to create programs that educate people on trades like woodworking and other traditional practices, inspired by a weaving school she attended in Sweden.

“We’re about 5 years old and we’re growing at a healthy progress,” Ashenden said of Fabric of Life.

The cost to participate, which includes materials, is $75 to $105. The class is capped at 10 people.

The schedule is as follows:

■1 to 5 p.m. — Workshop with information on tap whittling, the maple process, sugar house design, a site visit/design discussion, maple tree identification and a maple tapping exercise.

■5:30 p.m. — Pancake dinner

■7 p.m. — “Ben’s Mill” screening

Email with questions. Register for the class at


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