Our Very Dark Maple Syrup is sourced 100% from small family farms in southwestern Wisconsin. A variety of species of hardwood trees, including our maple trees, grow on the steep hillsides of the Ocooch Mountains that surround the beautiful Kickapoo River Valley.
These natural forests in Wisconsin are a healthy mix of many species of trees, unlike huge commercial maple plantations that are often planted in former wheat fields. Great care is taken in harvesting the sap to make the Maple Syrup, ensuring that the health of the tree is not compromised. Our syrup comes from farms that practice traditional agriculture and that are committed to the following:
No pesticides or chemicals were used to manage this forest.Our farmers do not use any chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers to manage their forests.
Our syrup is also tested for the presence of glyphosate, the most common herbicide in the US, as an added assurance.
A healthy forest. Our farmers limit the number of taps they use in their forests to help sustain the health of the trees. There are no standards in place to limit the number of taps they may have, but the farms have imposed limits on themselves because it is what is best for the trees in the long run.
What is Very Dark Strong Flavor Maple Syrup (formerly Grade B)?
Up until recently, when the USDA issued new guidelines for the grading of maple syrup in the United States, syrup was graded by color, as either Grade A or Grade B. Grade A is a lighter color than Grade B, and is made from the first sap tapped from the maple tree.
Grade B is darker in color, and made from the last stages of the sap tapped from the maple tree. But to some this grading system was confusing, because the connotation of Grade B was that it was of lesser quality than Grade A, which is not the case.
To help alleviate that confusion all syrup is now Grade A with varying degrees of color and taste.
So, our syrup hasn't changed, but the USDA grading system has.
What was known as Grade B is now known as Very Dark Strong Flavor.
Research was done in Wisconsin by a University of Wisconsin graduate student which showed Very Dark Strong Flavor maple syrup had a higher mineral content than the lighter Grade A syrups.
Currently, Healthy Traditions only sells Very Dark Strong Flavor Maple Syrup.