By Colleen Leonardi and Claire Hoppens
Photos by Teresa Woodard, originally published in Edible Extra: Backyard Maple Sugaring
Maple Syrup Festival at Malabar State Farm
The historic Malabar Farm in Pleasant Valley is one of our favorite destinations in Ohio. Founded by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Louis Bromfield, the farm hosts a variety of events and activities so visitors can experience the farm as it functioned back in Broomfield’s time. Malabar Farm hosts an annual Maple Syrup Festival March 4-5 and 11-12 from 12pm to 4pm. We can’t think of a better place to experience the Ohio tradition of gathering maple syrup. Watch a live demonstration of a maple trees being tapped and enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, music and food and pick up some maple syrup products for your home kitchen.
Stratford Ecological Center’s Maple Sugar Days
If you’re looking to travel a close distance to and from home and experience tapping for maple syrup here in Central Ohio, look no further than the Stratford Ecological Center, an education center and nature preserve in Delaware that is a true sanctuary from the city. Their Sugar Day is this Saturday, February 25 from 10am to 1pm. You’ll work beside experienced “Sugar Cookers for a hands-on experience in the sugar bush.” Witness the process of tapping a maple tree and “experience the evaporation process in the sugar shack.”
Also save room for their Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, March 4 from 8am to 1pm. Enjoy “home-made whole wheat pancakes, Stratford sausage and local maple syrup.” Then head out into Stratford’s forest to work off your breakfast, visit the sugar shack, see spring springing up and maybe a baby lamb!
Dawes Arboretum Maple Syrup Days
One of Dawes Arboretum's missions is "increasing the love and knowledge of trees," so it's no surprise that maple syrup season is ushered in with an annual celebration. Just 30 miles east of Columbus in Newark, Dawes Arboretum contains nearly 2,000 preserved acres, a Japanese garden, wetlands and swampland, ample trails, woodlands and even agricultural fields. But as soon as the days grow warmer and spring creeps near, Dawes turns their attention to all things maple.
Between Sunday, February 25 and Sunday March, 12, Dawe's Arboretum is celebrating Maple Syrup Days. Each day between 10am-4pm the log cabin is open the public and free guided tours of the property are offered Saturdays at 2pm. Watch as maple sap is boiled down to syrup in an evaporator, learn the history of the process from on-site docents and sample maple syrup in its freshest form.