Saturday April 16,2016
It is not very often that a sample of syrup entered in to a maple syrup contest scores 100%. The syrup enter by Curtis Cook of Bainbridge, Ohio did just that. His sample had perfect scores across the all of the scoring criteria. What makes this even more remarkable it came in a year when many producers struggled to make any syrup at all. Congratulations to Curtis and his family for a job well done.
This years contest used a new format for judging the in County entries. For the first time awards were given for 3 grades of maple syrup. In the Golden grade Curtis Cook was the winner. In the Amber grade Charlie Soltis took home the honors and in the Dark Grade Robert Freeman was the first place winner.
Awards are also given in two other categories for best out of county entry and best Hobby producer entry. The Goodell Family Farm of Mantua Township in Portage County won the to[p honors in the Out of County Division. In the Hobby Division Skip Lazancich won the top honors.
The Maple Candy Contest has always been a favorite at the festival. For many of the producers this has become a culinary art that is pasted down through the generations. Because of this transition the festival gives award in three categories in a junior division. Out of these winners they come up with a Grand Champion Junior Candy Maker Award. This year champion junior candy maker was Ethan Bartlett from New bury Township. In the Adult Candy Contest 6 categories are judged. Points from each category are totaled and an overall winner is awarded.This year the Grand Champion Adult Candy Maker went to Ellen Gingerich of Middlefield Township.
Jim Patterson presents the Hall of Fame award to Tinner John H Millers Son John Miller
The highlight of the Award ceremony is the annual induction into the Geauga County Maple Syrup Hall of Fame of a producer a person who has supported the Geauga County maple industry over the year. The 2016 award goes to the late, “Tinner” John H. Miller of Middlefield, Ohio. The award was accepted by his family at this years Hall of Fame Brunch. Tinner John as was best known as the one person maple producers could not live without. You see John was tin smith and he repaired the majority of the evaporator pans that without notice suddenly developed a leak. As all maple producer know you cannot operate an evaporator with a leaking pan for very long. Because of this invaluable service and his support of the local maple syrup industry John was inducted into the hall of fame. Normally a portrait of the honoree is placed in the hall of fame but in the case of Amish inductees a wood carving of his tin shop will be placed in his honor.
While you are at the 2016 Maple Festival enjoying your maple stir take the time to visit the producers display where all of this years entries will be displayed. More results are posted on the Maple Festival Page in this blog.
Photos courtesy of the Karlovec Media Group and Geauga County Maple Festival