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Rescued racehorses, apples and Maple syrup await visitors for ON Farm Fest

A sign that says Dutch Hill Maple entrance sits in front of an open field
Scott Willis
Dutch Hill Maple in Tully is one of the nine farms welcoming visitors on Saturday.

Nine farms across Onondaga County will open their barn doors to the public Saturday to get a first-hand look at a wide range of agricultural operations. The 7th annual ON Farm Fest features everything from rescued racehorses and a pumpkin farm to an apple orchard and maple syrup producer. Owner of Dutch Hill Maple in Tully Nathan Williams says they’re eager to show people how they make the sweet and sticky substance.

“A lot of people really don't know about Maple syrup, where it comes from, how it's made, what you can do with it," Williams said back in June. "So we take a big value in that just being able to bring in the Community, show them what we're doing. They can ask questions and learn about it.”

Williams is a second generation maple syrup producer. He and his wife just opened a larger production facility adjacent to the 120 acres of trees and five thousand taps that produce the sap.

This year, there’s a new transportation option. County legislator and agriculture council chairman Dave Knapp says they’re using part of a $75,000 grant.

“We're going to have buses from the city bringing folks out to the farms so they can make it that much easier to get folks out to talk to the actual farmers, see what their day-to-day life is like, what their challenges are,” Knapp said.

Visitors can stop by one or all nine farms Saturday between 10 and 3. Some farms will offer wagon rides, live music, food for purchase, and other family fun activities. More information and a planning tool can be found here.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at