Season sweet for local syrup

 

PHOTOS BY CHRISTINA McCUNE

Maple syrup flows during processing at Harvey Hershberger’s farm along Arnold Road in Sugar Creek Township.

PHOTO PROVIDED

After a successful experience, Christa Wolf said her family plans to make their own maple syrup again next year and hopes to double the taps and production.

SUGAR CREEK TWP.  Sorry if this sounds a bit sappy – but despite this unique and difficult past year, it seems to have been a good season for some sticky sweetness.

When it takes about 35 to 50 gallons of sap to make a gallon of maple syrup – that’s a lot of sap.

It also takes a lot of time and watchful eyes to boil down the sap. Approximately 200 gallons of sap can be boiled in an hour. And it’s all worth it.

After all, can you imagine your pancakes, French toast, and waffles without that sugary staple?

As maple syrup season winds down, passersby could still see last week in eastern Wayne County clear five-gallon bags hanging from plugs or spouts inserted into trunks of trees. Early last week, Henry Hershberger helped his son, Harvey, make maple syrup in a building behind his house along Arnold Road. Hershberger’s son-in-law, Joe Stutzman, began the maple syrup production several years ago and the family also is able to make syrup from sap for other families who bring it in. Hershberger made sure there was plenty of wood to keep the flames going to boil the sap, and he removed the syrup when a gauge indicated the thick liquid was ready. Hot water cleaned the filters to make sure the sap was pure.

Syrup can be purchased at Henry Hershberger’s produce stand next to the Dalton Dari-ette beginning about June 1. Prices range for various sizes of jugs from $5 for a half-pint to $40 for a gallon. The local syrup also is available at Shady View pantry and the Hershbergers sell the syrup out of their house.

Sonnenberg Mennonite Church has its 23rd annual Maple Syrup Festival 7-10:30 a.m. April 24 as a drive-thru only at the church, 14367 Hackett Road, Kidron. Enjoy homemade pancakes, syrup, sausage and drinks for a donation. Proceeds support several church missions.

Can anyone with a maple tree try their hand at making maple syrup? Sure they can.

A “Hobby Maple Syrup Production” fact sheet with equipment needed and instructions about how to tap trees and make your own maple syrup is available at https://ohioline.osu.edu/.

When Andrew and Christa Wolf moved to the Kidron area in August, one of the first things they noticed was how many maple trees were on their property.

“I commented that we could have quite the little production if only I had a sugar shack,” Christa Wolf recalled. “Before I knew it, Andrew had cleared a small out building, put in a wood burner – complete with chimney pipe, added a small counter, and we were in business!”

Read the complete story in the March 31 edition.

 

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