My new batch of chicks are safely tucked into their brooder, busy eating, napping and growing feathers. Most of them are camera shy, but this little gal stood still for a photo. She is one of five Cucko Morans that will lay dark chocolate eggs (if only they were chocolate dark chocolate eggs!)
Friday, March 24, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Thursday, February 23, 2017
|New tap holes are drilled each year, strategically placed to prevent hurting the tree from where taps have been in previous years.|
|Plastic taps are secured into the maple tree, and connected to the tubing|
|All tubing and tapping must be approved by the dog.|
|And then the sap joins the main, black line and heads to the collection tank at the bottom of the hill.|
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Preseason's the time to catch up on advances in sugar making techniques and tools. So, Pat and Don attended the Addison County Maple Sugar Maker's Annual Convention in Middlebury. They listened to lectures on 3/16th tubing, tapping below the lateral, the State certification program and more. They also were able to talk with lots of local sugar makers over lunch and at display booths. Here, Pat picks up some literature from Bascom, one of Vermont's biggest sugar making operations.
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Capping each honey filled hexagonal cell of the honeycomb is a bit of golden wax. For us to harvest the honey, Don carefully scrapes off the wax 'caps' with a hot planer. We save all those wax caps, clean them up a bit by heating and filtering out the stray honey or other debris that may have gotten caught up in them. Then the wax gets melted and molded into beautiful golden blocks that are saved to use for making candles, lip balm, soaps, massage bars and other sumptuous creations.
In the middle of winter, when farm work slows down and the bees have been wrapped up tight, is when I have time to mix up some silky lip balm from the saved wax.
Using a recipe calling for beeswax, sweet almond oil, castor oil, shea butter and cocoa butter, I melt together a a luxurious concoction in a steamy water bath.
When everything is liquid and uniform, I pour it into little 1/2 ounce tins and let it cool.
The resulting lip balm is just the perfect thing to protect your lips from the drying winds of winter. When you put it on, it's barely- honey scented aroma sits right under your nose, reminding you of summer!
Monday, December 5, 2016
All set up and ready to sell to the folks coming to The Richmond Holiday Market on Saturday, December 3rd. It was such a busy day, that this is the only photo I was able to take. After the doors opened, people were coming by, tasting syrup, inquiring about the honey comb, buying presents, and just enjoying the holiday market. Outside were roaming carolers, draft horse drawn wagon rides, and lots of food and music and plenty of snow flakes. It was a fun and lucrative day and it felt great to know some syrup and honey were going to make their way into Christmas stockings and under trees. Merry Christmas!
Monday, November 28, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
to fire that evaporator once the sap starts to flow next spring.
|First you cut the dead trees out of the woods|
|Then you cut the tree into manageable sizes|
|After which you use your winch to drag it out so the tractor can take it to the sugar house for splitting|
|Before splitting you cut the tree into sizes that fit into the splitter|
|Finally, it gets split into chunks that will fit into the evaporator|
|He wasn't a whole lotta help|
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Don decided if he had to mow the fields anyway, he might as well make hay. He tracked down lots of used equipment, talked to local farmers on 'how-to' and then went to making hay. His first hay sale was to a mother-of-the-bride, who wanted hay bales for hay rides at the wedding! That sounds like a pretty fun start to the haying business.
|This attachment spreads the cut grasses out to dry|
|An 'all in one' attachment collects the grasses, packs it into a tight square, wraps it in baling twine, and spits it out.|
|Neat bales, all in a row|