They may seem unrelated, but cows and maple syrup have a long and intertwined history in Vermont. It's a connection that goes back to the late 1800's when Vermont's farming industry migrated from raising sheep to dairy farming.
Photo Courtesy of Gilead Brook Farm
Historically, nearly all of Vermont's dairy farms produced maple syrup. This springtime work provided their year's sugar supply, and often generated much needed extra income. Some dairy farms still make maple syrup today, but it's no longer the norm as the small farms have given way to the 'super-farms'.
In 1950, Vermont had about 11,000 dairy farms. Unfortunately, Vermont continues to lose dairy farms, and we currently see roughly one per week sold at auction. There are now just over 600 dairy farms remaining in Vermont.
Many of those are large farms, but there are still some that are quite small. We are proud to work with two of them! White Rock Farm in Randolph and Gilead Brook Farm in Bethel are a couple of the most beautiful farms you will ever visit. They both sit at the end of long dirt roads, surrounded by hundreds acres of lush forests and rolling fields dotted with happy cows. I added some pictures of all of the farms on the website, so feel free to check those out: The Maple Farms.
These farms make syrup the traditional way - with wood fire, no vacuum pumps, and no reverse osmosis. We know the flavor is better than what you can typically buy on-line or at the grocery store. Give it a try and you will taste the difference!
Your purchase directly helps the family farms during these challenging times. Please support small farms whenever you get the chance.
I decided it was finally time to post a recipe. My wife is the chef in our house, and my cooking repertoire is rather limited. I typically enjoy my maple syrup one of three ways: poured over plain yogurt; caramelized with butter and drizzled on popcorn; or straight up in a shot glass. However, when I really need a treat I turn to my original: Vermont Toast. I don't make the homemade farmhouse bread, but I do the 'cooking'. It's pretty simple.
Slather both sides of the bread with copious amounts of butter
Grill until the bottom is nicely browned
Flip over and drizzle maple syrup, letting it seep though the bread onto the grill
Allow the maple syrup some time to slightly caramelize - the time required depends on the temperature of the grill, but be careful not to grill too long or the syrup will burn
Flip the bread back over and drizzle the second side with maple syrup
Allow to caramelize - it won't take long
Eat warm and enjoy
While at camp with limited options, I found that Vermont Toast made with corn bread and bacon grease on a camp stove is absolutely delicious.
This recipe is simple and forgiving! (great for the non-chefs in the house!)
Need a Host Gift?
We recently heard from a customer that brings a bottle of maple syrup instead of the typical bottle of wine.
Now that we can FINALLY get out to spend time with friends and loved ones, perhaps you'd like to bring them something a little sweet.
It's going to last much longer than that bottle of wine!