Supplier Series: Synder Heritage Farms
We are so fortunate to be surrounded by many family farms here in Waterloo Region where we can source some of our constant ingredients like maple syrup. Thanks to our local suppliers, we can create ice cream flavours that are sweetened only with local maple syrup. Currently, we are getting our maple syrup from Synder Heritage Farms in north Bloomingdale.
Kevin Snyder is the current and 5th generation farmer at Synder Hertiage Farms. As long as he can remember, they have been producing maple syrup on the land their ancestors settled and cleared many years ago. Today, they are also farming turkeys and cash crops. Most of their products are sold farmgate and in 2009 they opened their farm store.
Around eight years ago, the Snyder family started to convert and update their maple harvesting techniques. Previously, they had around 1300 galvanized buckets attached to each tapped maple tree. Now, they benefit from vacuumed pipeline technologies that help them to harvest from 3600 taps and collect maple syrup in central tanks set up in the forest. Kevin mentions that this new method gives them a higher yield with lower workload and they can leave the pipes up year-round for collection.
A large part of being a maple syrup farmer is also being a steward to the trees and forest that provides their bounty. Kevin says that he follows tapping guidelines and has his own rules of thumb for forest management, such as only tapping trees larger than 10 inches in diameter, applying a maximum of two taps per tree, and performing selective cutting every year. By ensuring healthy forest practices, Kevin is able to tap trees that are over 200 years old in his stand. "If the forest is healthier, then you're producing more and better quality syrup", says Kevin.
Kevin is excited about partnering with Four All Ice Cream because he believes we are both looking to attract a clientele that values the good quality products that have been made with care and purpose. In a supermarket full of cheaper alternatives, Kevin hopes to connect with his customers in the same way that Four All does; by educating about the importance of local ingredients and fair price points.
Currently our Maple Walnut and Waffles & Bacon ice creams are sweetened exclusively with Synder Heritage Farms maple syrup. Follow them on Facebook or visit their Website to see what they are up to and look forward to their open house coming up in April!