SALEM - Misty Maple Sugar House is hosting an open house and tour of its maple syrup facility from noon to 5 p.m. on two consecutive Saturdays, March 9 and 16.
The facility is located at 10644 W. Middletown Road.
Misty Maple has held about a dozen tours and open houses, according to Dave Hively, who co-owns the business with his wife, Nancy.
The Hivelys said, "Our grandchildren are fifth generation sugarmakers."
The Misty Maple website says, "We are a processor, wholesaler, and on-site retailer of pure Ohio maple syrup. Continuing our 27-year tradition (as of 2011), we sell the maple syrup year round."
For the open house and tour, winter dress and boots are a must, as guests are invited to "come walk in the woods to see a tubing gathering system and then to the sugarhouse to see how pure maple syrup is made.
"You can also have some ice cream with hot maple syrup straight from the evaporator."
Hively said people can take the tour at their own pace. "They can be in the sugar house while we're boiling and I can answer questions or they can tour the woods," he said explaining the sap can be seen through transparent tubing as it comes out of the trees.
The sugar house was founded in 1984 with 600 taps, Hively said.
The facility has grown to processing sap from more than 3,000 taps with the majority on tubing with vacuum assist.
According to information supplied by the Hivelys, "Each tap hole has a spile (a spout that is tapped in to the tree) and connects the tubing to the tree.
"Each tree tubing then goes into a main tube that takes the sap to the bottom of the woods and into a holding tank. There it is pumped up to our sugar house."
From there the sap is processed through a reverse osmosis machine where approximately 75 percent of the water is removed and then the sap is boiled in three-and-a-half foot by 13 foot evaporator to finished syrup.
The syrup is drawn off continuously by an automatic system which uses a temperature sensor to judge when it is done.
The Hivelys belong to the Northeastern Forestry Association (NEOFA) as well of the Ohio Maple Producers Association where Dave is Vice President.
Misty Maples has taken Best of Show awards during the IMSI/NAMSC (International Maple Syrup Institute/North American Maple Syrup Council) annual meeting and conference in 2009 in Bar Harbor, Maine, and again in Franenmuth, Mich., in 2011.
For more information or to contact Misty Maple Sugar House, call 330-332-0728 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Shields can be reached at email@example.com