CCHO taps into its trees, makes, sells maple syrup

CCHO taps into its trees, makes, sells maple syrup

Image Credit: Submitted

After an arborist determined there were approximately 700 maple trees on the grounds of the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio, it was decided tapping the trees and collecting sap to make maple syrup would be a fun project at the 165-acre farm north of Wooster that is home to as many as 46 abused and neglected children age 5-18.

Although in this, the first year, it was decided the children should just observe and learn about the process, many area churches, schools and businesses volunteered and donated materials. During the month of March, CCHO and its volunteers placed about 325 taps, collected about 3,000 gallons of sap and made over 100 gallons of maple syrup.

The sap was processed at Mennell Acres Farm in Litchfield, which has a large, modern sugar house for processing and bottling the syrup, which is now being sold at Buehler’s locations in Wooster, Orrville and Ashland. It is available in quarts for $19.99 and pints for $10.99, and Buehler’s is donating the proceeds back to the CCHO. It will help pay for everyday needs like food, clothing, medicines, personal care items and school supplies.

It takes 40 gallons or more of sap to produce just 1 gallon of maple syrup, and volunteer teams included The College of Wooster, Triway FFA, Wooster Christian School, Mission Thrift, Church of the Lakes and Doylestown United Methodist Church. These groups, along with the CCHO Maintenance Department, went out every day to collect the sap and transfer it to a 275-gallon collection tank that was then taken to the sugar house. Lowe’s Home Improvement in Wooster donated over 200 five-gallon pails for collecting sap.

CCHO hopes to make this an annual event where the children play a larger role in the production, learn valuable life skills and gain farming experience.

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