RicelandMeadows


Untapped!
March 9, 2017, 8:03 pm
Filed under: March 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

untap2017

March 9, 2017

After a very short season, we have the trees untapped. We had to dump full bags of maple sap. The bags were full but the quality was not good. The trees have budded, so the sap has an “off” flavor. I would rather dump it on the ground than make “buddy” syrup. It has a strong offensive taste. I can sell it to a few buyers who use it for pipe tobacco and animal feed, but the price they pay is low. It is so low, that I would be better off selling the firewood it would take to boil the sap. I would get more for the firewood, than I would the maple syrup.

Thanks to the horses and several guys we untapped in a matter of a few hours. It is a great job to have behind us. It has been a funny year. It has been very warm. It was a very early maple season and very short. We did make a good amount, but were hoping to make more than we did. I will get everything cleaned and put away, then wait patiently for next year. It pays to be a Cleveland Browns fan…..there is always next year!

It was a beautiful day to be in the woods. Yesterday, we had high winds that blew at speeds of 50 mph. There are several trees uprooted. The forest floor is littered with down and dead limbs. The whole woodlot could use a good cleaning. I will salvage what I can for lumber and firewood. I will build some nice brush piles for woodland creature habitat and I will burn some of the slash. The old, mostly rotted wood, I will push into piles to finish rotting to enrich the forest. This is one job that I will never complete, but I refuse to stop working at it.



A Great Problem
March 1, 2016, 9:49 am
Filed under: March 2016 | Tags: , , , ,

101_1367

March 1, 2016

I have been very busy. My off farm job had kept me hopping last week along with all that goes with making maple syrup. Yesterday we gathered over one thousand gallons of maple sap. Today I will boil it all down. That job begins right after all the farm critters have been fed. I am very busy, but that is a great problem.

I expect visitors to the sugarhouse today. Sounds like several families will be coming. I get to explain the process to adults and children alike. It is hard to say if anyone will go home and try it in their backyard but you never know who your sharing may inspire. Perhaps a small boy will be amazed and one day become a sugar maker himself. Or maybe a little girl will be touched by my words and go on to make maple candy in a small shop in a large city. I don’t know, but I do know that it is my destiny to share what I know.

The weeks end looks cold. This is just what we need to keep the trees dripping. The cold also give me a couple days off from making maple syrup to catch up on other farm chores. I have taken some time off from work to spend in the woods and on the farm. I am excited to be here. This is my “land cruise”. I will do all sorts of things and be a busy as possible, but that is a  great problem!