Friday, March 19, 2010


It's officially spring, or at least late winter. On March 3rd, I sowed 4 flats of alliums in the greenhouse (at work, sshhh!), and on March 4th, I tapped 31 of our sugar maples. In a week, we had collected almost 90 gallons of sap; a slow start. The next week, we got 26. Then the night temperatures stayed above freezing thanks to unseasonably warm weather, the flow just about stopped. I sowed tomatoes in soil blocks tonight (at home this time), and the temps have been falling. Things are looking good for the next few days, and the moon is waxing for another week, so I'm hoping for a good run. Meanwhile, the garlic, rhubarb and daffodils are poking their heads up.

The sled is made from found lumber and some old skis.

This time of year is a strange mix of activities. Planting, waiting, planning, watching, gathering & boiling. Wonderful rituals, and good honest work. It feels so good to be outside every day, especially hauling buckets of sap. Last year, we collected over 300 gallons and drove every drop to the family sugar shack 25 miles away. Lots of work, but we brought home over 7 gallons of syrup. We just made it, too; I opened the last pint two days ago!

Thanks, maples, for a sweet gift.