Monday was a glorious day for tapping—our coats, vests, gloves and hats being dropped like bread crumbs along the path in the sugarbush. Within minutes of drilling, each hole was already welling up with sap, a tap was put in, the bucket hung and the sweet plunking sound of the first drops were hitting the bottom.
We’ve spent much of the last few days getting all the pieces in place for our first good run—rolling out the old evaporator, a cobbled together piece that barely makes the 20 foot trip outdoors from the old csa room, every year with think it will be its last year in service. But we continue replacing one part after another, trying to get one more season out of it.
We’ve been washing buckets, dump stations and uncovering from snow the long black pipe that we use between the dump stations high up on the hill and the collection tank parked along the road. If the weather forecast is to be believed we should have a good weekend and week ahead of us.
We thought Monday would be an anomaly, but each day this week seemed sunnier than the last. We hurried into the woods yesterday to skid logs out and pick up coffee-table sized rounds of an old maple that fell this year. We were hoping to make it out before the ground thawed and left us nothing but muddy tracks to slide along, we weren’t fast enough. The wheel tracks we cut in the snow on the way up to the woods were flowing rivers on our way back down in the afternoon. The snow melting quickly off the fields, and out of the mountains, looking for the shortest path to the river.
The horses navigated the narrow path, deep, muddy ruts and tight turn-arounds like they do it everyday. I, however, was exhausted by evening. It felt like the first true farm-season day, where I wanted nothing at the end but lots of food and sleep. Waiting up for the chickens 8:30 bedtime and coop shutting seemed a painful punishment for such a day of heavy lifting.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: sunflower shoots, carrots, beets, white and fingerling potatoes, daikon radish, turnips, celeriac, garlic, shallots, leeks, red and white onions, green and red cabbage, wheat berries, whole wheat regular and pastry flour, corn meal, and lots of dry beans. Maple syrup coming soon.
In the meat share: Pork, beef, broilers and stew birds in the freezer. Stock and organ meats from beef and chickens, lard and leaf lard.