At Coombs Family Farms, small is a big idea. For seven generations, we have produced the highest quality and most delicious pure maple products. During this time, we’ve seen some dramatic changes in the farming industry. Small family farms have largely been replaced by industrial agriculture, which brings with it significant challenges to the environment, our rural communities, and the quality and wholesomeness of our food. Convenience has replaced tradition, and people miss the connection we used to feel with our food. Through our products and our commitment to sustainable farming, Coombs Family Farms is helping to repair this relationship, so that once more consumers can feel good about real food.
Maple syrup production dates back to the very early 1600s. Native Americans initially used real maple syrup and sugar as food and trade items. Their knowledge and sugaring skills were passed onto the early settlers. Sugaring started as a family affair in New England, and, for the most part, this still stands true today.
Since the mid-1800s, the Coombs family has been a responsible steward of the forest, following a sustainable approach to agriculture long before “sustainable” came into our lexicon. To be honest, we never knew there was any other way to farm, and we haven’t accepted anything less since we started sugaring.
While the typical Vermont sugaring season begins in March and lasts from four to six weeks, there is no set time to tap maple trees. The best sign that we’re ready to start comes from the weather. The perfect sugaring weather happens when we have warm sunny days and freezing cold nights. This gets the sap running, and it’s when we tap our trees. Coombs is a pioneer of maple best practices (reverse osmosis, health spouts, and vacuum tubing) that are not only efficient, but are also instrumental in protecting the environment. Grading maple syrup is based on translucence and density, and the lighter syrups are produced earlier into the sugaring season while the darker syrups are harvested later.
For our 100% pure organic maple syrup, we only rely on farmers that are individually certified organic by the Quality Assurance International (QAI). This certification ensures that the strictest standards have been met, and that consumers will receive only the highest quality organic maple syrup.
Every Coombs maple product is uniquely delicious. We craft pure and organic maple syrups, organic maple sugar, and maple candies that are sure to satisfy every palette.
The superior quality and rich, sweet flavor of 100% pure maple syrup is unbeatable. While you may be familiar with the current grades (grade a maple syrup, grade b maple syrup), new grades of maple syrup are about to make it even easier to enjoy real maple syrup! Recently approved by the Vermont Legislature, the International Maple Syrup Institute’s proposed maple syrup grade changes will establish two primary new maple syrup grades based on flavor profiles and color. Our Maple Syrup Grades page [Link to http://www.coombsfamilyfarms.com/the-craft-of-sugaring/saps-running/how-is-maple-syrup-graded/] illustrates this clearly, and contains references to the original grades for comparable flavors. These new maple grades will take effect in 2014. With easy-to-understand flavor descriptors, you can quickly identify the maple favor (from delicate to robust) that will satisfy your craving.
Our maple sugar is a 100% natural alternative sweetener prized for its unique and rich sweetness and nutritional value. Its versatility lends itself as a main ingredient in rubs and marinades, as a coffee sweetener, and as a sugar replacement in baking recipes.
Our naturally gluten-free pure maple candy is made solely from pure maple syrup. To make this, we simply boil it down, stir it, and pour it into molds for hardening. Coombs Family Farms offers three maple candies that still rely on the finest all natural ingredients and recipes from Arnold Coombs’ grandmother.
Increasingly, consumers are learning more about the foods they see on store shelves. With deceptive packaging and unnatural production methods, people are becoming wary of how these foods are made as well as what ingredients are used to make them. Just look at this confusing laundry list of table syrup ingredients: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), cellulose gum, caramel color, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid, artificial and natural flavors, and sodium hexametaphosphate. While the debate rages on about these additives, most people are becoming leery of any highly processed foods made with anything grown in a lab and not in a field. The truth of pure maple syrup is transparent and refreshing. It comes straight from the maple tree and the ingredient list is short and naturally sweet: pure maple syrup. Every serving of real maple syrup has calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. The difference is as clear as it is refreshing.
The quest for real food – wholesome food – is important. We believe that every person deserves pure and delicious products, such as real maple syrup, that are exactly as advertised.
At Coombs Family Farms, we support small family farms because we believe they provide much more than high quality food. They help restore the connection to the foods we eat. Small farms help strengthen local economies, preserve important ecosystems, and help to protect a way of life that is increasingly under threat.
By choosing Coombs Family Farms products, you are helping to grow a healthier, more sustainable society. That’s no drop in the bucket.