The last time I traveled to the main office of Farming in Vermont, Associate Publisher Barb Sweet was more than tickled to show off the wonders of maple syrup—not just any maple syrup, but VERMONT maple syrup.
“You can put it on anything,” she claimed. It was at the moment I realized that maple syrup is not just something you pour on your pancakes on a Sunday morning, it’s a bonafide, 100 percent way of life.
As an Ohioan, I know my state can serve up some syrup. I’m in close vicinity to many Amish destinations that can give Vermont folks a run for their money when it comes to maple. But I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers being that I was a visitor in the Green Mountain State.
It was a few days after a typical Vermont snowstorm and the last day of my visit to the St. Johnsbury office when Barb and Senior Editor Brooke Rockwell summoned me to the kitchen area. Lo and behold, there was a serving pan full of snow that had Vermont maple syrup drizzled on top.
“This is crazy,” I thought to myself. What in the world is this for? As I stood bewildered, Brooke handed me a spoon, and commanded, “Dig in!” When Barb said “anything,” she meant exactly that, and she was right. Vermont maple syrup made snow delicious. I was hooked.
Before leaving for the airport, Barb insisted that I should meet Ruth Goodrich of Goodrich’s Maple Farm in Cabot. Ruth took time out of her busy day to show me around her family’s operation. She discussed in great detail how the generations before her perfected the art of maple syrup. As I viewed the blending of the traditional maple environment with the innovations that have been made for the production of maple syrup, I was overwhelmed by the amount of pride Ruth and her family had in their farm.
Since I couldn’t figure out how to fit all of their products into my suitcase to bring back home, I had to settle for way too many samples of Amber Rich.
Ruth and her husband Glenn have been recognized and honored for their sugar making, just as their ancestors have been since 1840, and this year at the Vermont Farm Show it was no different. Ruth and Glenn had the distinction of winning this year’s Best in Class in Amber Rich and Dark Robust Maple Syrup, Best of Show for Indian Sugar with Glenn grabbing the Outstanding Sugar Maker Award. Congratulations to Goodrich’s Maple Farm for confirming what I already knew: That they know how to make superb Vermont maple syrup.
Now, thanks to Barb, Brooke and Ruth, when my family and friends ask me, “How was the snow in Vermont?” I’ll answer, “It was delicious!”