Syrup folks have been hard at it—so have those behind Vergas spring festival coming April 10 

That’s quite a racket they got goin’ on over at the Ditch family dental office in Pelican Rapids. 

Doc Daniel fixes up a cavity—then one of his staff sends you out the door with a bottle of home-brewed maple syrup. 

Sugar—in its purest form. 

Maple syrup is the stuff that enables active golf schedules for dental professionals.

But, lets be honest here, maple syrup tastes so good going down. Unfortunately, it also hurts so bad when you’re subjected to all that heavy metal machinery the dentist sticks in your mouth. 

“We call it job security, heh, heh, heh,” said Dr. Daniel Ditch, with a devious chuckle. 

Pelican dental staffer Stacy Berven is a hobby maple syrup producer in the Vergas area. In the spring, her thoughts turn to sap. I was fortunate enough to visit the dentist as the first batches of syrup were processed from the Berven stands of maple trees. She offered a complimentary bottle after my dentist visit, and naturally, I couldn’t refuse. And, of course, the dentist in the room didn’t advise otherwise. 

Though a “natural” sugar, maple syrup has similar effects of refined sugars. In fact, Dr. Ditch confessed that syrups and honeys are probably even more of a threat to teeth because of the sticky, adhesive consistency. 

So, thanks to the Pelican Dental crew, I now have a delicious sampling of the 2021 maple syrup harvest—plus a jump-start on my next dental chair assault.

Fluoride helps….but there’s no COVID vaccination for teeth.

Spring is maple syrup time in the Vergas area—including the annual Maple Syrup Festival.
Pictured here, pouring sap through filters at the Don and Vern’s hobby syrup operation, by the shores of Lake Sybil. The syrup production has become a tradition for the Berven and Greenwood families.

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By most accounts, 2021 is a good year for maple syrup-ers. 

Stacy and Mud Berven collect and cook on the south west side of Sybil Lake with Donnie & Jeanne Greenwood and family, with help from others. 

They bottle syrup for family and friends, not for resale. The label “Don and Vern’s” refers to Donnie & his father-in-law Vern. 

Several local Vergas people are involved in helping with collecting the sap & cooking it down into syrup. Also pitching in, Brandon and Brett Greenwood.

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Springtime thoughts also turn toward Vergas, and the popular “Maple Syrup Festival.”

The April 10 event kicks off with the Lions Pancake Feed 7:30-11:30.

Pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage and juice will be served. Indoor seating is limited, outdoor seating available and also “drive through” service.

Liquor, Beer, Wine Sampling is at the Vergas Liquor Store 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Many Vergas merchants will be open for the season, and will be offering special promotions. 

 The “Saps Running” 5K walk-run will begin with registration at 8  to 8:30 a.m. at Billy’s Corner Bar in downtown Vergas. Race start time is 9 a.m.