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On-Farm Practices

Stannard Farm is a 600-acre mountaintop farm in the town of Stannard in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, population 120 give or take a person. We are a fourth-generation family-owned and family-run farm that raises grass-fed beef and produces organic hay, organic maple syrup, and organic maple candy. 

Our Commitment to Sustainability

  • a windmill powers our sugarhouse
  • we re-use boxing material to pack our maple syrup orders
  • we have a sustainable forestry plan, and our sugarwoods is a diverse eco-system providing habitat for animals, birds, and insects
  • the evaporator for making our maple syrup is a wood-fired evaporator -- most sugarmakers use oil-fired evaporators instead! (read more about our passion for wood-fired maple syrup here)
  • our small herd of organic grass-fed beef lives outdoors year round, with shelters set up for the coldest months of the year and organic grass or hay from our pastures
  • we maintain our tractors and machinery for as long as possible, rather than buying new farm equipment every year
  • we rely almost exclusively on family labor -- we have never scaled up our farm beyond what we can manage within ourselves

Round bale of hay

Cows in snowy pasture

Flowers in an old hay rake

Our Organic Certification

  • we have been certified organic since 2007
  • we are certified by the Northeast Organic Farmers' Association's Vermont Organic Farmers Program (VOF Program)
  • organic maple syrup means that we use an organic de-foaming agent rather than a chemical or industrial de-foamer (we use Spectrum safflower oil); we use bio-based cleaning products on the evaporator; and we abide by the sustainable forestry plan for our forest and sugarwoods

NOFA sign on sugarhouse

Organic fields

Foliage farm

Our Bird-Friendly Recognition

  • we were recognized as having bird-friendly sugarwoods, and producing bird-friendly maple syrup, in 2016
  • we are recognized by the Vermont Audubon Society's Bird-Friendly Maple Project
  • bird-friendly recognition means that our sugarwoods offers habitat to a wide variety of Vermont forest birds
  • bird-friendly recognition focuses exclusively on the woods and involved a detailed inventory of the whole sugarwoods that looked for certain specific habitat features while organic certification requires a general sustainable forestry plan and also looks at maple syrup production in the sugarhouse -- we feel that both organic certification and bird-friendly recognition combined represent a sustainable, diverse, and supportive forest system on our farm!

Our Sugaring Operation

  • beginning in late January or early February, we tap 6000 trees on our farm
  • we tap each tree by hand, connecting the tree to the map of pipelines that run through our woods
  • we use a combination of gentle vacuum and gravity to draw sap into the bulk tanks
  • we process our sap through a reverse-osmosis (RO) machine at a low level -- we strive to reduce our boiling time, thus saving energy, while maintaining a long enough burn time to develop complex and rich flavors in our maple syrup
  • we use a wood-fired evaporator for our maple syrup (read here about our passion for wood-fired maple syrup!)
  • our windmill creates enough energy to power our sugarhouse
  • read more details about maple syrup production here, and follow life on the farm at our blog From Tree to Table

Riva's sister Brenna taps a tree on a visit to the farm

Snowy stack of firewood

John in the sugarhouse

Interested in making and enjoying maple syrup? Read more here!