The sugar maple tree is native to Ohio. Earliest farmers in the area used the Maples on their farms to produce syrup. By the 1850’s most of the syrup making activity was located on the farms west of town on Loudon & Burg St. Loudon Crest Farms, owned by the Warner family, has been in operation since 1877. Sugaring season begins in late winter when days are warm and nights are below freezing. Sap begins o flow and trees are tapped. The sap collected must be cooked to evaporate out the water. Because the sweet water begins losing its sugar content as soon as it leaves the tree, cooking starts immediately. This is called “sugaring off”, and in the past often featured a party at which townspeople and farmers would gather around bubbling sap kettles for a feast. Three hours of boiling produces the first syrup, with a production rate of about two gallons per hour. The Warner family’s evaporator is wood fired which requires about 20 cords of dried wood annually. The maple syrup must be packaged while it is hot either into individual containers for sale or into larger drums for commercial shipping. The syrup is now ready for pancakes! The Warner family follows the US Department of Agriculture guidelines published in the Maple Syrup Producers Manual, and the ODNR guidelines which have remained unchanged since they began tapping.