RicelandMeadows


Sharing the harvest and making Memories
March 10, 2013, 12:16 am
Filed under: March 2013 | Tags: , , ,
Lots of help gathering sap

Lots of help gathering sap

March 9, 2013

Today was the best sap run of the season. Our trees were dripping like mad. The bags were full, the sun was warm and smiles were everywhere! We had a great time.

The horses got another good workout, but the work is starting to become “old hat”. They take it in stride and almost seem to enjoy it as much as we do. It is so much fun for me to see the looks on the little kid’s faces as they watch the horses work.

We had lots of help today today and it took a while to gather all the taps. Once the sled tank was full, the gatherers would rest and wait for the horses to come back. They laughed and joked and made memories that will last a lifetime.

I boiled for just over six hours and made some very nice syrup. We had customers, visitors and helpers all watching and sharing memories. I had a great day ūüėģ I could feel my grandpa guiding my moves, whenever he wasn’t out watching my son Jake handle the team. My grandpa watches from heaven, but I know he was here today…if only in my memory.



A Day For Sharing
January 27, 2013, 7:40 pm
Filed under: January 2013 | Tags: ,
Connie and King share a moment

Connie and King share a moment

January 27, 2013

Today was an awesome day. It started out crisp and cold, but the sun was shining brightly. The snow glistened as if diamonds had been scattered into it. Just looking at the snow made me smile.

I did a little clean up from yesterdays butchering and finished that job. Next it was chores and putting the harness on the horses. My hired man and my son Jake had the horses ready to go by the time my clean up job was finished.

Jake drove Hoss and Knight up and down our maple sap roads, while Justin manned the lopers and cut a whole bunch of face slapping branches out of our way. We continue to prepare for the upcoming maple syrup season.

I hitched Duke in the cart and followed along behind. I didn’t do much other than enjoy the ride and exercise Duke. We spent part of a day sharing who was in charge. I won. He had a good time,and performed well once he figured out who was picking the direction we should go.

Connie spent the day putting her kitchen back together after the new floor went down. She and King spent a minute visiting while she scratched some of his favorite places. He adores her, as do I.

Evening was spent visiting and sharing with an old friend, making plans for next week and resting. My batteries are re-charged and I am ready to face the music of next week. This farm is my sactuary and I will be forever thankful to have it.



The Value of True Friends
November 29, 2012, 9:41 pm
Filed under: November 2012 | Tags: ,

Uncle Fred, King and I

                                                November 29, 2012

¬†¬†¬†¬† Today, I caught up with an old friend. He is not old, it’s just that we have been friends most of our lives. It is a friendship that has cemented over time. I don’t see him as often as I should and sometimes, long gaps fill the spaces between our meetings, but every time we see each other, it is as if we have never missed a day.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Life has a way of filling up our lives. The day-to-day stress and drama, pull at us from all directions , consuming our thoughts and time. I am so blessed to have friends, that all I have to do is pick up the phone and ask… and they would come running to my aid. It truly is¬† “A Wonderful Life”

     We spent the afternoon walking in a woodlot that my friend owns. We discussed plans for its future. We decided upon a sustainable plan of woodland management that will pay dividends for many years to come. The woodlot will remain and become even better over time, through selective harvests and longterm management.

     My friend and I have had many of the same twists of fate in our life journeys thus far. We parallel in many aspects. We enjoy many of the same things, some of which are environmental conservation, hunting and all things out-of-doors. Sustainable logging, using draft horses, makes good sense to both of us and a great fit for our proposed plan.

¬†¬†¬†¬† We shook hands when we parted. My mind filled with childhood memories that we share. A peace came over me and I felt glad to have such a friend. I am sure that he felt the exact say way. There is no way to put a price tag on friendship such as this. Like the commercial says ….. Its Priceless.

 



A wagon load of Promise
September 26, 2012, 7:52 am
Filed under: September 2012 | Tags: ,

A wagon load of pumpkins at Marvin’s

                                              September 26, 2012

¬†¬†¬†¬† Yesterday I took the last of my pumpkins and squash to the produce auction. I proudly wheeled the last two pallets into their place at the auction. I then went to my friend Marvin’s farm to haul a load for him too.

     When I arrived at his farm, pumpkins were the order of the day. There was a wagon load waiting to be unloaded and another one waiting to be filled. Pumpkins were placed neatly on the lawn and a youngster was hosing them off. Several other children were working at the produce washer, washing and sorting squashes.

     The whole place was abuzz, as they prepared their farm products for the market. There were pallets all wrapped and ready to go. Bins of pie pumpkins, jack-o-lantern pumpkins and a couple of different kinds of squash ready to be loaded. Three pallets of mini straw bales waited along with the others to be sent off to market.

¬†¬†¬†¬† I took in the entire scene, slowly processing it in my mind. I watched as Marv’s children worked together, the older ones working with the younger ones guiding them through the process. There was no bickering (well, not much ūüėģ ) as the children cleaned and washed the produce, loaded it into bins or boxes and made short work of a wagon load of produce.

     In short, it was nothing less than awesome as little hands and fingers worked quickly and efficiently as they chatted about school and the upcoming deer hunting season, while folding and filling boxes. They all worked together. Dad and mom were there, but were taking on smaller roles, now that the children were accomplished produce workers, after several seasons of that work.

¬†¬†¬†¬† I realized that I was missing that piece of the puzzle. I didn’t have that support network of help…. well not yet anyway! I did get help in planting and some of the watering, but harvesting took place in the evenings, lasting until after dark. The work this year was done mostly by my hired man and his sister. They worked like troopers making short work of our little patch.

¬†¬†¬†¬† I will adjust for next year, making sure to include many and make it fun. Our patch will be bigger next year, as we work towards another niche for our farm. As the workload increases, bringing the family into the mix will be necessary and a pleasure. A good old-fashioned “frolic” is in order. There is much truth in the biblical adage “many hands make light work.”

¬†¬†¬†¬† There is more to it than just the work getting done, there is love. Everyone is in touch, if only for a day. Chatter and laughter fills the air and though we are all tired at the end of the day, it wasn’t work for anybody … It was fun…. and believe me, that … Is a wagon load of promise!