“I’m looking for local sources of raw honey, maple syrup, and sorghum molasses. Can you help me?” The Newton Falls Public Library staff found this to be a sweet question as many people are looking for alternatives for refined sugar.
The patron informed us that he had already contacted Healthy Treasures [http://www.healthytreasures.com/], the local health food store. The library staff was aware of the Trumbull County Beekeepers’ Association and investigated their website [http://www.trumbullcountybeekeepers.org/]. There we found a beekeeper in our community, Brian Neuman of Dew-Bee Honey Farm.
Searching for a source for purchasing maple syrup, we found the Northeast Ohio Maple Producers [http://www.ohiosweetmaple.com/]. To learn the names of area producers, our patron will need to contact them by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. We also informed him that their website had information about the 2010 March Maple Tour on Saturday, March 13, Sunday, March 14, Saturday, March 20, and Sunday March 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A map with the tour stops is available on their website.
Sorghum molasses does not seem to be locally produced, but by searching online we were able to locate some sources in Kentucky from which he could order. Staff members also suggested he try some other stores which carry organic, natural, or bulk items such as Marc’s and the End of the Commons General Store in Mesopotamia.
If our patron had wanted to produce his own sweeteners, the library has materials to assist. For honey, Beekeeping: a practical guide by Richard E. Bonney, Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston, and Natural Beekeeping: organic approaches to modern apiculture by Ross Conrad are useful choices. Storey’s Basic Country Skills: a practical guide to self-reliance by John and Martha Storey has guidelines for producing honey and maple syrup. The Encyclopedia of Country Living: an old fashioned recipe book by Carla Emery, besides having beekeeping and maple tree tapping, also includes instructions for growing and processing sorghum into syrup and molasses.