Randolph County resident Don Olson bought the land in the 1970s that is now home to Blue Rock Farm. Now he and his wife Linda Zimmer have made it a place where organic maple syrup is produced each year. It's not what he had in mind for the farm when he first bought it, but he said he's proud to be involved in the organic movement.
"That's what I'd like to eat, and it's a product that we're proud of, and that's part of what we're proud of, that we raise it organically. We garden organically, we raise blueberries organically, it's just part of the whole picture," said Olson.
Now, maple syrup is already nearly organic, but Olson and Zimmer use natural products in place of artificial ones. While they strive to farm organically, the methods they use also help the environment in other ways.
"So we're inspected and the certifiers know that we are not over tapping our tress, that we're not using any pesticides or herbicides on the land. So it's sustainability as well, and caring for the environment," said Zimmer.
And the care they put into their product has paid off. While they sell most of their syrup locally to friends or area businesses, they also have big fans who buy a lot of their work: The chefs at the Greenbrier, who asked for a sample a few years ago, and haven't looked back.
"We just had one small pint left that season, and they were passing it around, fell in love with it, and so they have become a very good market for us," Zimmer said.