Driving along the farms in Morrow is an everyday occurrence for those living in the county; passing sprawling fields accompanied by large silver bins, tractors and barns without blinking an eye.
Part of the landscape that peppers the county is Pleiades Farms, a multifaceted agricultural entity that produces a variety of products.
Yes, it has hundreds of acres of farmland, woods, and beef cows, but, Pleiades also operates a sugar mill that is part of the family owned business.
“Back in my grandfather’s day when he purchased the farm, there was an old sugar shack in the back with all of the equipment,” proud partial owner of Pleiades Eddie Lou Meimer explained. “Most of the farmers in this area were making syrup, so he found out how to do it and started.”
Pleiades was purchased in the late 1800s and has been in the family ever since. Eddie Lou helped her father, who passed in 1991, run the farm in all of its operations. Towards the end of her father’s life the maple business was no longer run by them, but instead run on shares by Amish who lived in the surrounding area.
Due to her father’s declining health and large number of dairy cows, there simply was not enough time in the day.
When her father died, Eddie Lou took over the farm full-time.
Eventually selling the farm’s dairy herd in 2003 before the market began to decline.
With the weight of an entire herd of dairy cows off of her shoulders, Eddie Lou turned to the sugar making business. With the help of her son, Jim, who now runs the agricultural side of her farm, Eddie was able to focus her time on developing recipes and different products to make with her syrup.
With Jim’s help, Eddie Lou has developed maple syrup products such as, maple sugar, two flavors of maple syrup, maple suckers, maple sugar candy, maple granola, maple puff spelt, maple cream, maple walnut topping and glazed nuts.
Eddie Lou brings all of these products with her to the farmers markets she attends; Worthington’s farmers market is attended year round and the Westerville famers market during the summer.
Along with attending farmers markets, Eddie Lou opened up her own maple sugar store in December of 2014.
“Farming is not a job, it is something that has to be in your blood,” Meimer explained of her multi-generational family farm. You have to love what you are doing because you are not going to get rich from it… To see my son become a part of the farm, I guess is how I love to see it turn out,”
Take the time to drive out on some of these sprawling back roads in Morrow County and appreciate the rich history of generational farming. You might not know it, but these grounds have a long history of family ownership and have been around for hundreds of years. Farmers have soaked these grounds with their blood, sweat, and tears all for the love of what they do.
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