These waning weeks of winter with their slowly rising daytime temperatures mean spring is truly on its way, but folks around the country who love real maple syrup are crossing their fingers for a few more weeks of coat-and-scarf weather. In order for sap to flow for harvesting, maple trees need both mild days and freezing nights, and too-high temps can mean a shorter harvest season. The team behind one of our favorite syrups—Mead & Mead’s Maple Syrup based in Canaan Valley, Connecticut—has been busy in the sugarhouse making sure this season is a successful one, no matter what the thermometer reads.
Mead & Mead’s owners (and siblings) Winter and Meghan Mead have been harvesting sap on those cold winter days and producing syrup in sweet-smelling sugarhouses for over 25 years. Their goal is to bring high-quality maple syrup to food lovers on the West Coast and around the country.
We love that the Mead family relies on the quality and strength of the hardwood forests of the Berkshires without using any fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Through every step of maple syrup production, Winter and Meghan maintain a meticulously clean operation with an emphasis on energy efficiency.
The syrup is slowly evaporated in small batches with the help of a reverse osmosis machine. This high-tech approach helps cut down on the amount of wood needed to keep the operation going, and the small batches maintain the individual characteristic of a single group of trees. In essence, the Mead’s pride themselves on capturing the terroir of the Berkshire maples—unlike other syrup producers, Mead & Mead’s syrup isn’t a blend of different vintages with the same taste year after year. Each bottle of syrup is representative of a single, unique season on the farm—with all of its quirks. The Mead family's dedication to quality continues to the treatment of the finished product, which is never diluted with additives or marred by artificial preservatives.
The mark of truly great maple syrup lies in the balance between pure sweetness and the bold, rich, earthy, and floral flavors of the maple trees themselves. Mead & Mead’s lets the natural characteristics of the maple groves shine, while making sure that every harvest bucket, sap-harvesting line, and evaporator is clean as can be. This prevents any off or bitter notes and results in a balance of flavor and sweetness in every bottle, with a sparkling clear color. With a gorgeous bottle of Mead & Mead’s Grade A, B, or Extra Dark maple syrup on your table, it’s easy to bundle up and let the winter last just a bit longer.