(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.
How's that for a waffle? Homemade, of course and with our Maple Syrup. Yum! With snow on the ground and colder temperatures, it felt like the right time for warm waffles and warm Maple Syrup.
We are packing VT maple syrup and homemade jam to be sent out for the holidays. If you want to place an order, you may use the website or call us with your orders. We can pack any combination of syrup or jam that you want. Hope to talk with you soon. 1-800-647-9787
Jim harvested the pumpkins today from our garden. Most of the pumpkins are for making yummy Maple Pumpkin Pie. And of course, there are also a few for decoration, along with the colored corn. Interested in the Maple Pumpkin Pie, check out the recipe page.
We have been so fortunate to have a great crop from our garden, despite the lack of rain. The green beans came out of our ears, the swiss chard is full of color, the beets are deep, deep red, the pickles are dilly and sweet and the corn....well, we are certainly not lacking for it. We had a yummy corn roast the other night with wonderful friends and family out at our firepit behind the farm. We are thankful to be able to put this food away for the winter and to be able to have enough to share. What is left to harvest is winter squash and some more tomatoes for salsa.
And of course, every job needs a good supervisor. That is Mocha's job.
Here at Happy Acres, we have been in the hayfield and veggie garden. We have 1500 bales in the barn as of yesterday. We will be at it again today. Needless to say, it has been hot out there. We will make up a batch of Switchel to help with the thirst.
As for the veggie garden, it is slowly coming along. We have the following in the ground: potatoes, green beans, carrots, Soldier and Jacob's Cattle beans, swiss chard, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, corn (lots of corn!), tomatoes, herbs, winter squash, and cukes. That should do us for the winter.
Today, Jim got the disc mower out. So begins the season of making hay while the sun shines. By the time that we are done, we hope to have over 2000 bales in the barn.
Now we need warm, sunny days with a little wind to help dry the hay. We put up square bales and sometimes the big round ones. We have also been know to make hay silage, depending on the weather.
Mocha was out enjoying the fresh mowed grass and clover.
Jim and Sandy have been operating Happy Acres together since 1987.