2022 Ohio Maple Bootcamp was held June 22-24, 2022. It was a great opportunity for beginning producers to learn all about making and marketing maple syrup.
Sessions were held Wednesday on tree identification, sugarbush evaluation, and sap flow/sanitation.
Presenters included Kathy Smith, Scott Weikert, Gabe Karns, and Mike Rechlin.
Thursday was all about collecting sap using buckets or tubing, tapping trees properly,
sap processing, filtering, and storage, reverse osmosis and evaporation techniques and pans by Les Ober
and Mike Lynch.
The afternoon took participants on a trip to a local producer, Dan Brown at Bonhomie Acres.
The evening focusing on maple candy, sugar and cream by Mike Lynch from CDL Maple Equipment.
Friday included a trip to another producer, Stan Hess and concluded with marketing and wholesaling techniques by Mike Hogan
and Sayeed Mehmood.
It was a great opportunity for maple producers.
Keep in mind, maple syrup is a 100% natural sweetener.
The production involves removing around 40% of the water through boiling typically using wood, natural gas, oil, or propane. And yes…..you can process sap using a turkey fryer, but it takes a lot of propane!
One key point that permeated the conference was we ‘Create Memories with Maple!’
I am reminded while teaching science at Perry Elementary School, I taught a 4th grade unit on maples. We identified sugar maple trees on the school land lab in the fall, tapped trees in winter, and processed the sap into syrup. The lesson culminated with a pancake breakfast with each 4th grade class comparing real maple syrup to imitation. Each student received a bottle. Many still have their bottle. The 4th grade classes of 2012 were fortunate to place 1st in the Geauga County Maple festival in the Hobby Class.
My hope is that I had a small part in creating ‘Maple Memories” with students.
Creating Maple Memories is what maple producers provide!