Welcome to
Driftless Farms

Local & Family Owned Maple Syrup

Our Story

Driftless Farms, LLC is a local, family-owned business specializing in the natural production of 100% pure, gluten free, maple syrup.  We have been involved in maple syrup production for seven generations on our family farm near Viola, Wisconsin.  We currently have quarts, pints, and half-pints available, and we plan to expand our product line in the future.

Our sizes, quarts, pints and half pints.  The different colors are due to slight changes to the chemistry of sap throughout the season.

Our Farm

Henry and Lydia Walter were the first generation to settle on our farm in the heart of the beautiful Kickapoo River Valley, part of the driftless region of Wisconsin.  The driftless region escaped prehistoric glacial impact and has a unique landscape in Wisconsin, filled with tall hills and expansive valleys.  Henry and Lydia arrived in 1864 from Pennsylvania, and raised their five children in a cabin on the ridge above our current farm.  For the next four generations, numerous descendants of this pioneering couple lived on or near the farm, subsisting as small-scale farmers with a small dairy herd (Jerseys only!) and an annual tobacco crop.

Some of our earliest memories include spending time on this land with Lillian Walter, our grandmother and member of the 4th-generation Walter farm.  Grandma was steeped in the lore and culture of a time gone by, and was as comfortable cleaning squirrels or butchering chickens as she was baking her famous sugar cookies.  She could pick blackberries faster than any three of her grandkids put together, and because of her, our farm remains in the family.  She held onto this land for years after Grandpa Harold passed away, maintaining a connection to the land and preserving her family’s heritage.  Grandma always appreciated the simple pleasures that this farm provides, and we rarely produce a batch of maple syrup without her in our thoughts.

Lydia and Henry Walter, about 1880.
Jacob Austin and Martha Jane Walter, with son Perley, in front of the old Walter farm house on Elk Creek.  About 1880.
Brothers, Tim and Scott Walter, 6th generation on the family farm, set the evaporator up for an evening of “sugarin’”.

Our Syrup

Our family has made maple syrup on this land for many generations.  It’s long been one of the signs of spring that we look forward to, and a way we remain connected to the land.  In the past, we made syrup the “traditional” way, hanging buckets from trees and boiling the sap down over an open fire in flat pans.  A highlight of our year, we’d often share bottles of “Walter Syrup” with family and friends.  

In 2008, we installed over five miles of tubing in one of the larger sugar maple stands on our farm, and began selling sap to a local syrup producer.  In 2015 we struck out on our own and formed a partnership among brothers Scott and Tim, along with their wives, Erica and Lucy.  We built a sugar shack, installed a modern evaporator, and “Driftless Farms Pure Maple Syrup” was born! Production of our 100% pure maple syrup is truly a family affair, and one that harkens back to our family’s earliest days here in the beautiful Driftless area.

Two of Scott and Erica’s kids, Del and Connie, manning the pans during a late evening of making syrup the “old fashioned” way.
Erica filling the firebox.
This is the way our family made syrup
for generations- flat pans over an open fire!
Raw sap entering our bulk tank after flowing through our tubing system (left) and delicious-looking syrup being drawn off our evaporator (right) The beginning and the end of the syrup-making process!

The Many Benefits of Maple Syrup

natural Antioxidants

All-natural maple syrup has antioxidant properties that can help protect from free radicals.

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The Sweetest

Maple syrup is considered to be a better option than honey and sugar for a sweetener.

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Maple syrup has natural occurring vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, zinc, B6 and more.

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