RicelandMeadows


Making Grandpa Proud
March 14, 2012, 11:10 pm
Filed under: March 2012

Samples in the sunshine

                                                    March 14, 2012

      We had seven runs of syrup this season. We take a sample from each run to see the quality of the syrup that we are making. You will see eight sample jars in the photo. That is because in the last syrup we made, we sampled it twice to make sure the quality had not strayed.

      I ama third generation sugarmaker. I learned only a few things from my grandpa, before he was killed at a young age. I cherish what I can remember, along with many memories he and grandma made for me. I am very sure he would be proud of what we were able to do in this, our first year.

      In a little three-sided sugarshack nestled in a forest of maples is where my grandpa made syrup. His horse King and Babe pulled the sap sled as he gathered the maple sap. My grandma worked right beside him on that job just like everything else they did. As tragic as it was, they were even killed on the same day. I think it was so neither had to spend one day apart…for that separation alone would have killed them.

      My horses pull our sap sled in the same manner as my grandpa’s did. I upgraded my sugarhouse not to show off or brag, but to honor my grandparents who passed this passion on to me. I am sure my grandpa would be proud.

      I am making memories with my family and our farm’s visitors. I tell the story of the maple process. I explain why I enjoy the simple ways. The old-fashioned way of hanging a bag or bucket on each tree. I even shun progress a little, to keep the romance in this process and to keep a memory alive for me.

      It is not production or even economics, that I strive to attain. It is rather, preservation. I want to preserve and old way of life. A way that gets buried deeper, every generation, as people move further away from the land. I want to instill the value of hard work and make a memory along the way.

      Perhaps some day, years from now, my great-great grandson, will gather up the horse’s lines and cluck softly as they move down the sap paths in the woodlot. He will later boil the sweet sap over a woodfired arch. The wood gathered to keep the woodlot clean and healthy. The woodfire, sustainable, because of the shedding branches from growing trees, dead trees or perhaps slabwood from a selective thinning of the woods.

      He will share thoughts dreams and memories with his family and friends. My spirit will be there floating on the steam as it goes out the sugarhouse copula, taking in everything I see and hear…. knowing that his dream was made possible. because my grandpa cared enough to share with me… and I cared enough to make my grandpa proud.

 

 


1 Comment so far
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Ralph, if you haven’t sold all your syrup Darla and I would like to purchase some. If you do have some let us know via email, the easiest way to contact me, we can set a time to come and get it. Would also like to see what changes you made since last time we were there. Suger house and all such.
Lloyd and Darla

Comment by Lloyd Bouldin




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