By Kelley Jordan Heneveld
When her children were young and she had to be inside with them rather than out in the woods helping her ex-husband, Leane conjured up the idea of a maple syrup festival. Extra income wasn’t her only objective in starting the festival. “Maple syrup lends itself to having people come and watch the process,” she said. “It seemed like something that needed to be shared and adds a lot of pleasure for us to see people enjoy it so much.”
After hearing the family story, I went out with Jenny, Leane’s oldest daughter, to see the property. Because of the unusually cold weather, sap wasn’t flowing very much, and there wasn’t much action. Nevertheless, I saw the acres of tapped maple trees that, in providing food for themselves, create a way of life for this hard-working family.
In the Indy area, LM Sugarbush Maple Syrup is sold at Good Earth Natural Foods, Pogues Run Grocer and Traders Point Creamery. Or visit the farm — this year’s festival is February 22 and 23, and March 1 and 2.
You can check out more of Kelley’s work at on her Farm Stories site.
The 23rd annual Maple Syrup Festival draws thousands of visitors. It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and March 1-2 at LM Sugarbush, 321 N. Garrison Hollow Road near Salem; call 812- 967-4491 (toll free at 1-877-841-8851). Admission and parking is free. A pancake breakfast ($7 or $8) is served all day. A chicken, pork chop or pulled pork dinner ($8 to $10) is available from noon to 5 p.m. The festival include guided tours, children’s activities, vendors, traditional music and demonstrations of pioneer crafts. Check out the festival website or Facebook page for more info.