State lawmakers will find themselves in a sticky situation.
The House on Wednesday, Feb. 26 approved State Rep. John Patterson’s (D-Jefferson) push to have March designated “Maple Syrup Month” in the Ohio revised code.
They incidentally also passed House Bill 264 which ironically involves the care of students with diabetes in schools.
We might not be Vermont, but maple syrup is a big deal in Ohio as evident by Patterson’s statement on the designation last month:
“As the peak of Ohio’s maple season draws near, I believe it is important for us to demonstrate our appreciation of this important industry. March is the month when more than 1,500 Ohio families, throughout 80 different counties, work day and night to produce one of our state’s proudest agricultural products. I am excited that H.B. 418 gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about a burgeoning industry that contributes more than $5 million annually to the Ohio economy.”
The Senate will have to approve the measure before it became the sugary sweet law of the land.
Some buckeyes are very, very excited about maple syrup.
The Ohio Maple Producers Association is promoting the Maple Madness Driving Tour 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 8 and 9 and 15 and 16.
Families and maple syrup enthusiast alike are encouraged to visited a selection of Ohio maple sugaring operations mainly in Allen, Ashtabula, Columbiana Cuyahoga and Geauga open to the public for self-guided tours.
Call (440)834-1415 or visit www.ohiomaple.org.
Closer to home, Five Rivers MetroParks will host “Maple Sugar Moon”at Possum Creek MetroPark’s Education Building, 4790 Frytown Road, 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 11. Registration is required for the free program for those age 3 to age 6. It will included the American Indian story about how maple syrup was discovered, sweet samples and activity.
Call (937) 276-7053 or visit http://bit.ly/OCUYIS.
MetroParks taps trees at Carriage Hill MetroPark and Possum Creek MetroPark for maple syrup.
See insert below for Greene County maple syrup event.
In addition, two state parks in the regional are among the four state parks that will hold maple syrup festivals in the coming week.
Information from Ohio Department of Natural Resources:
Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County will hold a pancake brunch at the Pioneer Village from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2. For a small fee, visitors are invited to enjoy homemade maple syrup with pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and hot chocolate. Tours of the Sugar Camp are offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 513-897-1120.
Hueston Woods State Park in Preble County will hold its annual Maple Syrup Festival on two weekends: Saturday and Sunday, March 1-2 and March 8-9. A pancake breakfast will be available for a small fee from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Free tours of the park’s sugar bush will originate at the main beach parking lot from noon to 4 p.m. each day. Park staff will explore the process of maple sugaring from the methods used by Native Americans to the way maple syrup is made today. Call the park office at 513-523-6347 to learn more.
By Pamela Dillon
From sap to syrup to spilling over your pancakes, what better way to celebrate the winter season? It’s time for Greene County Parks & Trails Annual Maple Sugar Pancake Breakfast. You and your family can head straight to the breakfast table at Bellbrook Middle School, or find out just where all that maple syrup comes from beforehand at Narrows Reserve Sugar Grove.
Sugaring season can begin as early as late January, but usually begins the second week of February through the second week of March. Ideal conditions are sunny, with temperatures between 30 and 45 degrees. Approximately 24 trees are tapped each year at Narrows Reserve; the park’s sugar camp usually produces about 8 to 10 gallons of maple syrup. Naturalist-led hikes are available from 8 a.m. to noon tomorrow morning. You and your children will see demonstrations of how maple tree sap is transformed into maple syrup.
“We generally place about 60 to 70 taps each year on those 24 trees. It depends on the weather and the health of the trees,” said GCP & T chief naturalist Cris Barnett.
“We want to make sure we have a healthy sugar grove for a long time, and we do let some trees remain untapped if they appear to be stressed.”
It’s good to know there will be no stressed-out syrup on these pancakes. The breakfast includes sausage, milk, coffee, tea and juice. Real maple syrup and maple candy will be available for sale.
If you want to participate in the Maple Sugaring Tour only, the cost is $4, or free for kids under 6. Classroom groups are also invited for private tours of the Maple Sugar Camp. Students must be at least 10. Teachers, if you are interested in scheduling a 90-minute tour, please call Cris Barnett at 937-562-6474, or email her at email@example.com.