We’re finally having the sugaring week that we have all been dreaming of. Tuesday brought us our biggest collection this year by far and had James up half the night boiling, followed in the morning by more boiling, more collecting and then more boiling. The weather looks great for several more days in the coming week, we’re expecting another collection today and hopefully James will be at the evaporator during pick-up tonight. As luck would have it, this first really busy week of the season I’ve been out for two days, leaving James to man the evaporator with no breaks and little sleep.
I’ve been avoiding pick up for weeks now, because of damage to my vocal cords. I just had them operated on yesterday and hope that will take care of the problem—the only catch being that I am not allowed to talk at all for one week—not an easy feat. In my limited experience so far it seems that people either start whispering to me or speaking loudly in really simple sentences as though I can’t hear them. Thanks to Cara for picking up the slack and to Sabrina for coming by, once again, to help out. Sabrina came to the farm often when I was out last fall during the beginning of my breathing and vocal problems. She jumped right in and was an immeasurable help.
Working in the Greenhouse
We made our biggest seeding push this year in the greenhouse on Tuesday—tray after tray of cabbages, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and the really dreamy stuff—tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers. On a sunny day the greenhouse can easily get into the 80s and 90s. Working is a treat in your t-shirt, shade hat and sunglasses. Running outside is an abrupt reminder that it’s still winter, with snow piled against the sides, a driveway coated in ice and a brisk wind that hits you like a locomotive just outside the door.
The ground beneath the greenhouse has pushed up in giant frost heaves, setting all of the benches and pallets off balance and pitching strangely when you step on them or put something down. The ice underneath has now started to melt under the black landscaping cloth that acts as our floor, creating the sensation of walking on a giant, mushy waterbed.
In the Farm Shares
In the veggie share: Maple syrup, kohlrabi, radish, leeks, potatoes, cabbage, onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, beets, parsnips, celeriac, dried sage, wheat berries, whole wheat flour and dry beans.
In the meat share: All cuts of pork and beef, half and whole broiler chickens in the freezer. Lard and leaf lard are available.
- Full and By Farm: Extra Cold Temperatures Create Delays (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Sugaring Season (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Sprouts (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Dreaming of Spring (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Fuzzy Winter Horses (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)