RicelandMeadows


March..ing On

KAH2019

March 30, 2019

Our 2019 maple syrup season has come to a close. We had a cold start to the season and a warm end. It was almost hot (51 F) on the last day we gathered sap. I put our filly Abby in to help the geldings. The sled pulled hard on the dry ground, but three horses pulled it easily.

KAH20192

Abby did a wonderful job. This was her second time hitched in a 3-horse hitch, where we actually did some work. She was alert, attentive, calm and willing. The plastic sap bags, shiny and fluttering caused her no issue at all. The banging of sled, tank and bucket didn’t shake her at all. She knew that as long as the boys and I were there, everything would be okay. She preformed like a champ. Her training and my invested time with her paid off in a big way.

KAH20193

The season was much like this hitch, a tough job, made easy by friends and family. More than once I realized, just as Abby had, that everything would be okay as long as “they” were all there. So, thank you to everyone for the help, the company, the meals…some very late at night, as we harvested the season’s maple crop.

Evap#3

Now, the big job of clean up begins. It takes awhile, but well worth the effort. The woodshed will need re-filled, all tanks and such will get pressure washed and put away. Then in late winter, just before the next season, the clean up gets repeated as we get ready for the 2020 season.

Next however, will be the fun, satisfying job of spring plowing. Abby and the boys will get a work out, as we head towards summer and the work that farming brings. I love this farming life. I see God in the new born babies, the emerging crops and in the sweet, golden, reward that is maple syrup. I am thankful for the knowledge and where with all to make it happen. I am thankful for folks teaching and sharing with me like my grandparents and others who saw in me a light…I hope it shines for the world to see.

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It’s as easy as 1,2,3!
December 8, 2014, 10:29 am
Filed under: December 2014 | Tags: , , , , ,
Hitching the boys to the sled

Hitching the boys to the sled

December 8, 2014

In my quest for wood, as many of you know, I am working on a large white oak tree that blew down a year ago. She landed in a sort of bad spot, crushing my fence when she fell. My time is getting short as winter looms, soon much of that tree will be frozen to the ground.

The fact that I will get this wood out until the winter weather puts it on hold, has me scampering like a squirrel gathering acorns. I am cutting and splitting almost every day. The horses and I try to haul some every day too. I am using all three geldings. They, like me, are a little “soft” so having plenty of help allows us to work faster and longer.

I like to show up with plenty of horsepower and believe me…three Percheron horses supply plenty of horsepower! The time it takes to get the third horse harnessed up, is nothing compared to the amount of work we can do. They stand while I hitch, load and unload, so, it’s as easy as 1,2,3!!



Wish You Were Here
November 30, 2014, 9:35 pm
Filed under: November 2014 | Tags: , , , , ,
Plenty of horse power

Plenty of horse power

November 30, 2014

Today, the horses and I went for a load of sugarwood. My buddy and I have been cutting a large white oak that fell down a year ago. The tree was huge. The limbs are so large that I am having to block them in two foot pieces, split them into chunks, then finally, split the chunks into sugarwood pieces. The pieces I use for sugarwood are about four inches by four inches by two to three feet.

My son Jake helped me load a load today. I didn’t unload it, cause I need something to do after work this week…. The tree project will take all winter perhaps more to get her all worked up using my days off that have decent weather. I can say for sure,┬áit is a big job. The abundance in the old tree is remarkable. Even in her death, she is giving back to our farm…. It humbles me and fills my heart with gratitude.

Jake and I tossed the wood chunks up onto the wagon. The horses stood quiet waiting for us to finish. I thought they might have a little trouble getting the wagon from the tree to the sugarhouse. I was wrong. The horses pulled that wagon like it was empty. The wheels cut in to the mud, but the horses paid it no mind. They are awesome and their power never fails to impress me.

If I could speed this job up at all, it would be to have loaders and unloaders. I am thinking of the two-legged variety, perhaps two on each end. The job would go faster, jokes could fly like snowflakes and we could finally answer that age-old question…How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

me and the big white oak

me and the big white oak