About Our Syrup
Hidden Springs Maple syrup comes from small family farms in Vermont.
Maple sugar season comes to Vermont during the early spring of each year. During sugar season we select for our customers only the highest quality maple syrup produced on our farm and on our neighbors' farms. Our maple syrup is all natural, and all locally produced. There are no additives of any kind used during the harvesting of our maple sap or during the boiling of our maple syrup. Our maple syrup is hand-packed for freshness and exceptional flavor. All of our maple syrup is certified Kosher.
At our farm we currently package three grades of maple syrup. Our Golden is produced from the first-run maple sap harvested during early March and has a light golden color and a delicate flavor. Our Amber is our mid-season product which has identical sugar content but an amber color and rich flavor. Our Dark is a late-season product with a dark color and robust flavor that is prized by maple syrup lovers at the table and for cooking. Our Golden is equivalent to the old Vermont Fancy. Our Amber is equivalent to the old Vermont Grade A. Our Dark is equivalent to the old Vermont Grade B. More about the new International Grading Standard below.
Maple syrup flowing from the boiling evaporator.
Fancy grade maple syrup packed in quart jars. Syrup packed in quart jars is available at our farm store only.
About Syrup Grades
Vermont adopted new international grading standards as of Jan 1, 2015. The old Vermont syrup grades have been replaced by four new international grades as follows: Grade A Golden Color with Delicate Taste, Grade A Amber Color with Rich Taste, Grade A Dark with Robust Taste and Grade A Very Dark with Strong Taste. You can see how the new grades map to the old Vermont grades below.
About Hidden Springs Maple Organic Maple Syrup
Hidden Springs Maple Organic maple syrup is certified as organic by Vermont Organic Farmers, LLC (VOF), which is the certification agency of Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont.* VOF is accredited by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to certify that farms and processors comply with the standards set by the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).*
Our VOF organic certificate is available on request
Although all Hidden Springs maple syrup is made in a safe and sustainable manner, Hidden Springs certified organic maple syrup provides the highest level of certainty that each and every step of the maple production process adheres to the strictest guidelines for forest sustainability and food safety.
VOF inspectors have followed our sap from the tapped maple tree in the sugar bush, to the sugar house where the sap is boiled into maple syrup, to our storage coolers and finally to our packing line. Every step along the way has been checked to make sure that we manage our sugar bush sustainably and that every step of the maple syrup boiling process and packing process conforms to NOSB standards. Every container of our syrup is marked with codes that enable us to track it back to the sugar bush that produced the sap, the sugar house it was boiled in and the day that the syrup was boiled.
The National Organic Standards treat maple syrup as a “wild crop.” The standards state that “a wild crop must be harvested in a manner that ensures that such harvesting or gathering will not be destructive to the environment and will sustain the growth and production of the wild crop.”
Our organic sugar bushes are managed for long-‐term sustainable production including tree health and long-‐term preservations of the forest ecosystem. VOF provides specific guidelines for minimum tree size and number of taps per tree. We only tap mature maple trees which are 30 to 40 years of age and at least 12 inches in diameter.
During boiling of the maple syrup, we use only a sparing amount of organic vegetable oil to control foaming in the evaporator. We do not use synthetic defoamers.
During all steps of the collection, boiling and packing process, we maintain detailed records. These records reflect when and where each drop of our organic syrup was made. Organic certification is received only after VOF is satisfied that all steps have been taken in compliance and records have been maintained at each step. This ensures that our maple syrup is produced in a safe, sanitary, sustainable and environmentally-‐friendly manner.
About the Hidden Springs Maple Sugar Bush
Many of our trees are over one hundred years old, and over hundred feet tall. These trees produce high quality, sweet, maple sap which is the only ingredient you need to produce high quality maple syrup.
A group of maple trees is known as a “sugar bush”. The Hidden Springs Maple sugar bush is located at 5816 Westminster Road, Westminster West, Vermont. The sugar bush is spread across approximately 250 acres of eastern-sloping, Southern-Vermont mountain ridge known locally, as Bemis Hill. Our sugar bush contains a large number of natural springs which provide our maple trees with an excellent source of pure, natural spring water. The area provides ideal habitat for maple tree growth. Many of our trees are over one hundred years old, and over hundred feet tall. These trees produce high quality, sweet, maple sap which is the only ingredient you need to produce high quality maple syrup.
We harvest maple sap from wild, sugar maple trees only. This matters because not all maple trees are equal. Unlike many of the Canadian maple producers, we do not harvest maple sap from either red maple trees or black maple trees. The sap from the sugar maple is sweeter than that of either the red maple or the black maple. Sweeter maple sap makes the highest-quality maple syrup.
The old Bemis Farmstead, on the Hidden Springs Maple Sugar Bush.
The Hidden Springs Maple pump house.