Ohio Maple Days sets new record for attendance
By EVELYN LONG -
An attendance of 86 at the Ohio Maple Days Workshop held at the Lutheran Memorial Camp, Fulton, on January 24, set a record, according to officials.
The goal of this workshop, the first of three held that weekend, was to take a look at improving quality in maple products and how to successfully market those products once they are produced.
Featured speaker this year, Ms. Kathryn Hopkins, Extension Maple Specialist for the University of Miami, discussed “Identification of Fungal Contamination in Maple Syrup”, “Canning Protocols, What Works?” and “Visual Displays and Marketing.”
Also speaking was Nate Bissell, “Sugarmaking, Money Making or Both?”
Dr. Gary Graham, from the Ohio State University Extension, Holmes County, closed out the program with “Production Statistics,” Do the Numbers Really Count?” He revealed a look at maple syrup production statistics in Ohio where his research covered agricultural census production records from 1840 to 2012.
Eddie Lou Meimer, who with her husband, John and son, Jim, own Pleiades Farms, Mount Gilead, said that Ohio’s production of 100,000 gallons of maple syrup in 2012 made Ohio the fourth largest producer of maple syrup in the nation.
She also said that Jim had tapped the trees two nights this year on their 120 wooded acres and gained close to 200 gallons thus far. She noted that because of the unusually warm winter in 2012 the season began with tapping on January 23 and it was over March 12.
The Meimers were one of two county residents who had booths at the workshop.
The other was the Erlsten Brothers, Johnsville, who offer maple sugaring equipment and supples. They also buy bulk syrup.
Meimer noted “We saw more young farmers this year (at the workshop). “We’re seeing an increase with more young people doing tapping. This modern technology — high pressure vacuum — people can get to areas they couldn’t get to before.”
Meimer said Pleiades Farms provides all the maple syrup for the North Star Cafes in Coluimbus, and they supply maple syrup to Raisin Rack in Westerville. Their product can also be found in small boutiques such as Gardens and Gifts at Mount Gilead. They also bring maple syrup to two Farmer’s Markets, Westerville and Worthington in the summer and Worthington’s Saturday morning indoor market in the winter.
They provided the maple syrup for the luncheon, pancakes and sausage, served at the workshop at LMC.
Dr. Graham and the Meimers remind people of the Ohio Maple Madness Driving Tour in March, 2013. The tour takes place March 9–10 and March 16–17 and will be the biggest tour yet. More information can be found on the web site ohiomaple.org
It will also be described in the February issue of MidWest Living.
The three day workshop concluded with a meeting at The Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, Fredericksburg, Wayne County on Friday, January 25 and on Saturday, January 26, the workshop was held at Joe’s Window Shop, Burton in Geauga County. There was also a trade show at the last location.