Take a close look at this photo. I am pointing to main line for sugaring. What is frozen on the little branch that is under the sap line? Answer: Sapcicle.
What do you call a good day? For us sugarmakers, it means we are up and taking nourishment, the sun is shining and there is steam rising from the sugarhouse. Today was one of those good days. We made golden with delicate taste pure VT maple syrup....another thing that makes for a good day! Yum!
The aroma in our kitchen is of maple pecan pie, maple squash pie, maple cookies, and of course, pancakes with maple syrup. If your kitchen does not smell like this... well, we can help. To the end 2017, for all orders over $100 that mention this blog, we will give you a 10% discount. Need a recipe, we have that too! Happy baking and have a Merry Christmas.
This past weekend was a glorious time to work in the woods to start the process of clearing the sugaring lines from tree limbs that have fallen on them. The foliage is not quite as brilliant as in other years, but these photos of leaves will show you that I indeed was in a maple orchard.
I took a little time to clear an old log road that I will be able to cross country ski and snowshoe on this winter.
It turned a bit cooler this a.m. Time to get oatmeal with maple syrup on my breakfast menu. Yum!
The vegetable garden has been good to us again this year. Green beans, yellow beans, tomatoes, cukes, swiss chard, summer squash, herbs, carrots, dry beans, winter squash, potatoes and CORN. You can see that the corn is about ready. We will be freezing up about 60 pounds of corn by the time we are done. And, we have had lots to share with our neighbors.
Our peony bed was spectacular again this year. The plants held up pretty well, until this last week of rain and then they said, "We are done". Lots of bouquets were given away, which is fun. Here is a bucket of flowers that went to the hospital.
Other things going on these days. Remember that cute picture of baby chicks? Well, we are dressing them off this weekend. We really know how to celebrate the 4th!
The haying season has been SLOW. Jim did his first cut yesterday. Now if the weather will hold, we will have some bales in the barn by Wednesday.
(The calves and cows are headed to the pasture as soon as it stops RAINING!! The drought is over as we have had 4.8 inches of rain since May 1. Not to mention all the snow melt and spring rain. The meat chicks are in the barn, growing and eating a bit more food at each feeding. Two more cows to calf out. (The bull must of gone on vacation at some point last July as these two cows are still 2 weeks away.)They will probably calf out on pasture.
The maple sap has stopped flowing and we are now cleaning the tubing and putting the sugarhouse to "bed". The season was okay, after all was said and done. We decided to tap our trees a bit later than many folks and with that, we ended up making lots of Fancy syrup. The weather was cool when we were boiling, but it also made for a quick season.
Now we are onto the next thing happening here....calves. Five so far. Here is a mom with her new brown calf. Jim will start to spread manure tomorrow. That will green up the hayfields!
Starting on Friday late in the day, the snow started coming down and did not finish until early on April Fool's Day. Ended up with 14 inches of snow and a good sap run. Go figure! We thought we would have a day to get other things done on Saturday; instead we were in the sugarhouse until midnight. We made the lightest Fancy Maple Syrup that we have seen in years. And the taste continues to live up to its name: Golden with Delicate Taste.
The photo posted is of our front field with a sap line coming from the orchard to the north east. The sap goddess was nice to us yesterday, despite the fool's attempt to do something different.
We have tapped our sugar maples and have boiled a couple of times. And now, Mother Nature has decided it is not quite time for sugaring. A big snow storm hit this week and the cold temperatures have put things on hold. Once the temps get a bit higher, we will be back in the sugarhouse.
We made some Fancy syrup on those first couple of boils. It is lighter than the grading kit. And the taste... well, it is quite special. Sandy loves the first draw off the evaporator, also called the "rig". Apparently, Jim's brother-in-law was right there in the past to help with tasting the syrup as it came off the rig.
We had to fix the smoke stack on the sugarhouse today as the wind tipped it a bit. After some ingenuity by Jim , it is all set now and ready to have some sparks coming out of it.
As we wait to make more syrup, we are enjoying the view here at the farm. We have a blanket of snow across the pastures out front and it does indeed look like January and not mid March. Sandy is hoping to put some x-c ski tracks into the snow this weekend.