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It's Official! Crown Maple Syrup is Certified OrganicSubmitted by Tamar on April 15, 2011 - 12:39pm
Crown Maple Syrup is now officially certified organic by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Certified Organic, LLC. According to the USDA, “organic production… (integrates) cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.”
This experience gave me a new level of respect for any product that is certified organic. The process is very comprehensive. We had to provide an Organic Farm Plan with information on:
- Details about all fields, including field history and documentation of previous land use; soil reports; weed, pest and crop disease management; sap collection techniques; equipment and cleaning processes; maps with diagrams showing tap lines, collection houses and sugar house; and adjoining land use and buffer zone details.
- A diagram of the sugar house, showing all equipment used from sap storage through syrup production and storage, along with a flow chart.
- Our quality assurance and product tracking processes, plus audit trail information.
- Our method of sap and syrup storage.
- All equipment used on the farm.
- Record keeping, including: field activity logs; time cards and activity summaries; equipment clean-out logs; harvest records; storage records; clean truck affidavits; sales invoices; bills of lading; monitoring records such as soil, water and quality tests; a complaints log, and more.
- Market information.
- Copies of letters sent to owners of all 31 adjacent properties, plus utility companies and highway and health departments to notify them that we are conducting organic farming and to verify that they are not spraying or using any products that would affect our organic status.
George Spak, the inspector, spent several hours here on the farm and inspected each field, including tap lines and collection houses, as well as the sugar house where the syrup is produced. He also reviewed our audit trail practices and documentation, verified our familiarity with the USDA National Organic Program Standards, and conducted a lengthy exit interview.
George’s report stated, in part, “It will be interesting to see this operation grow and hopefully prosper in the years ahead!”
Indeed, George. Indeed!
From the Farm provides updates on how the Crown Maple team is turning sap from the some of the most regal maple trees into quite possibly the purest maple syrup on earth. The Crown Maple team shares their insight into maple sugaring, the latest maple syrup production techniques, life in the sugarbush, conserving the land and sustainable forestry. Interested in more? Subscribe to receive updates.