Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the syrup taste sweeter.
After being away for eight years, The Maple Fest is back.
The celebration of all things maple syrup is expected to draw a sizable crowd Saturday at Maple Wood Farms, located at 10672 E. County Road 32 in Green Springs.
Bonnie Boyer, owner of the 28-acre farm, recently finished tapping a crop of 400 maple trees.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Boyer said. “It’s fun, but it’s a whole lot of work.”
While it’s been several years since the first Maple Fest, Boyer and her neighbors typically take turns putting on their own maple festival.
Boyer said she’s excited to have the event after such a long absence because many people enjoy watching the maple syrup-making process.
“I like the maple syrup,” Boyer said. “People are interested and amazed at how long it takes to get the syrup.”
Maple syrup starts out as sap, which is collected from tree roots during a period of freezing and thawing from mid-February through the end of March.
Maple sap is starkly different from the end product because sap is clear and tastes generally like water. Once it’s processed, the Boyers’ brand of maple syrup has a sweet flavor that hangs on the tongue.
“There’s definitely a big difference between (our) maple syrup and store bought,” said Nate Greiner, Boyer’s grandson. “This is 100 percent natural.”
“This is so much better there’s not a comparison,” Boyer said.
It requires about 250 gallons of tree sap to make 80 gallons of sweet syrup.
The process is long and slow because it takes considerable time to evaporate the water, leaving the syrup, said Bonnie Jo Greiner, Boyer’s daughter.
The family operation began in the 1840s with Boyer’s great-grandfather and continues today through Nate Greiner, the sixth generation to join the business.
Boyer’s Ohio Maple Syrup will be available at the Maple Fest for $34 and will be sold in late March at Hall’s Market and Maple Wood Gallery