Who We Are

The past few years, the area where I live, Crawford County, Ohio, has seen a wonderful explosion of younger families who are embracing the joys and challenges of living off the land. Because of them, amazing things are happening which have been embraced by our community. Farmer’s markets have been created and on-farm stores have opened. Families dedicated to growing organic produce and naturally raised meats are meeting the public’s needs for locally raised foods. And at the heart of this movement are the women.

Ohio Country Journal is my attempt to share the essence of farm life, focusing on, but not limited to, women. My goal is to bring you into our circle of friendship by inviting you to share your stories and experiences with us. You don’t have to be a full time country woman to benefit from joining us; you just have to be you.

The full-time country women featured in Ohio Country Journal are an inspiration to anyone who dares to follow her dreams, whether it is to live in the country or to bring the country life-style to their urban neighborhoods.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sweet Season

Another calendar page turned today. February is best known for Valentine's Day, a day for roses and fancy heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates. Another sweet tradition is also underway this month; it is time to tap maple trees for maple syrup and sugar.

Jim's uncle and aunt, Lester and Freeda Eichler, ran a sugar camp during their farming days. Both are now deceased, but their work will not easily be forgotten in our family history because of the oil painting pictured above. Hazel Iiams, also deceased, painted Lester and Freeda at their sugar camp in the middle 1960's. Dina, their little black dog, is also in the pictures. I'll be writing more about the family sugar operation at a later date. I am mentioning it today because this afternoon Jim and I are visiting another local sugar camp for a story that I am working on for the Galion Inquirer.

Steve Erlsten and his brothers run a large maple business, and sell their products at the local farmers markets. Today is tapping day and I want to be there to take pictures. This means bundling up in my warmest clothes and probably popping back into my car to warm up fingers.

The great thing that I like about my life is that most days are spontaneous. I *had* planned a nice, cozy warm day inside sewing. A simple phone call, "we are tapping the trees near the sugar house", changed all that.

So, off I go, out into the frozen blue yonder, camera loaded and ready for action!

Here's a question for you...have you ever tasted real, pure maple syrup? If not, I highly recommend it. It is healthier than maple-flavored corn syrup and because it's flavor is so rich, less is needed. It's the real deal.

Marcheta *gettin' real


  1. We enjoy Quebec-harvested maple syrup, and always take a can to Kiwi friends in New Zealand every time we visit them.

    Can't wait to see pix of your outing today, Cheta.

    1. Yes, we in North America are blessed to have such a rich treat available to us.

      I'll bet that your Kiwi friends appreciate the sweet bottles of syrup that you bring to them, Phill :)

      According to a statistic page, Quebec produces more maple syrup than all of the Canadian provences and the U.S. combined.

      The state of Vermont is the leading state in the U.S.A. for maple syrup production.

      But Ohio has lots of maple trees, too, so we are very lucky to have locally made maple syrup.