Slate Valley Farms produces traditional and modern New York maple syrup products and Raw Wildflower Honey and beeswax goods. All of our products are harvested and processed on our beautiful family farm in Granville, New York.
Follow along with our farm journey and where to find us on instagram @maplegirl518
Sustainability Efforts + Land Protection
At Slate Valley Farms we believe protecting our maple trees and mountain trails is our most important mission. We work our woodland trails gently and bring as little impact to our dense maple forest as possible.
With the help of our farmers markets we have bottled more maple syrup and honey in reusable glass jars than ever before! We have a steady stream of customers that return their glass packaging and can get it refilled rather than buying plastic jug syrup every time they purchase. We are very happy with the mason jar return program and our customers love it also!
To help in our own community we donate maple syrup to the Saratoga Food Bank every Saturday to help give those in need a hot and all natural breakfast!
Maintaining a healthy and fully functioning modern sugarbush with over 5,000 taps on 101 acres of mountainous terrain requires lots of working hands, endless manual labor and miles of winter hiking.
In the old days we used MANY metal buckets to collect our spring maple sap but now our sugarbush has expanded over the generations to collect all our sap through tubes and a vacuum system to carry our sap to the sugarhouse. Every year we invest and expand our tubing system as we still don't have the entire sugarbush "online"!
The yearly process starts mid-winter as we begin repairing lines as a team and making sure trails are accessible. Its takes around six weeks of full 12 hour days to get every maple tree tapped, add new mature trees to the lines and fix the never ending squirrel and deer tubing damage. This work is always done in the icy winter and is always a true labor of love.
Each year is a new gamble to see when our sap will run in the spring and for how long, it is truly all up to mother nature. All we can do is prepare and wait to see what the season has to offer us. Sometimes the spring warms to quickly and a season can be over in just a few days, some years we are lucky enough to get a two month harvest. The one thing that never changes is the family always works together to get the job done and everyone has their part.
Our sugarhouse is nestled at the base of our maple woodlands. It is off-grid and made from recycled metal shipping containers instead of traditional wood. It represents our homestead values of use what you have instead of wasting new resources.
Our maple sap travels through the woods on vacuum system to our 4,000 gallon chilled sap tank. It is then put through a reverse osmosis machine and boiled down to syrup in our custom built H2o evaporator. The boiling process is intense and long with lots of stress every year. Sap needs to be turned to syrup as fast as possible to prevent bacterial growth in the sap so when the sap is running it is a round the clock job till the sap season is over. In a few weeks we do our best as family team to produce all the syrup we can so we have plenty to provide to our market communities through out the year ahead.
Once our syrup is boiled we filter it with a filter press and store it in barrels till we are ready to can it into containers.
We have been beekeepers since 1982. Starting in Hendry County Florida. In 1999 we moved to Granville, New York, the Foothills of the Adirondack Mountains to start our family homestead.
Changing from beekeeping in Florida to beekeeping in the Northern Territory was a big change. The first winter our Florida Bees did not make it thru.
We knew we had to change our methods. We attended classes at BetterBee in Greenwich, NY and attended Cornell enrolling in all their courses.
Currently we have 47 colonies on our 101-acre Homestead. We manage our honey bees with respect and care for them accordingly with sustainability in mind. Organic practices are employed using natural integrated pest management practices.
We never use antibiotics, hormones or pesticides.
Over the years we have tired many different races and hybrid honeybees always coming back to Italian Bees. For several reasons, first and most important, we are Italian Farmers! We like the temperament of Italian bees; they build up good in the spring producing much surplus honey.
Here in the Northern Territory we suffer winter losses of 15-25%, not very good but we have to deal with the environment.
Our bees went into winter strong and healthy and we will be praying for a high winter survival.
Our intention is to work towards a teaching environment on the homestead. We have had several interns come and work with us over the years. This coming Spring, we will have young people of varying abilities coming to the homestead participating in a Farming on the Spectrum program.
We are so proud to be a family farm with three generations currently working and living together on the land to keep these sweet traditions alive. Every year we improve and expand our operation while respecting these beautiful foothills we love so much.
Currently you can find us at the Saratoga Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Schenectady Greenmarket on Sundays. Stop by and grab some all natural maple and honey treats!