DARKE COUNTY – After numerous hours of collecting sap and boiling it down in the Sugar Shack, the Friends of Darke County Parks’ gift shop will have a limited supply of pure maple syrup ready for individuals to take home by the March 2 festival.
According to the Darke County Parks, maple syrup is a healthy food that is three times as sweet as cane sugar and has fewer calories and a lower glycemic index. A tablespoon of maple syrup has around 40 calories while a tablespoon of cane sugar has around 55. As an added benefit, pure maple syrup also is an excellent source of the minerals manganese and zinc, which are important immune system allies.
Many of the commercial syrups available in the grocery store do not contain any maple syrup; their main ingredient is corn syrup with added maple flavoring. All maple syrup available in the Nature Center’s Gift Shop was made from sap collected from trees in Darke County and cooked by the staff and many volunteers of the park district in the Sugar Shack.
Prices range from $8 to $10. Individuals can come out to the Nature Center gift shop on March 2 to purchase pure maple syrup.
At the Maple Sugarin’ at the Prairie Festival on March 2, The Friends of the Parks once again will serve up a hearty breakfast of waffles, sausage, juice, coffee and pure Ohio maple syrup. Breakfast will be from 8 a.m.-noon March 2. Tickets are available at the door on the day of the breakfast for $6 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3-12. Presale is available at the Nature Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Educational tours also will be held throughout the morning.
Anyone who has questions about this or any other program offered by the Darke County Parks may call the Nature Center at 937-548-0165 or visit the website at www.darkecountyparks.org.