Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

My sap runneth over Wednesday night was our last (most recent– there’ll be many more) frost and Thursday was the last day the sap ran. The red maple was in bud yesterday, so there’s no reasonable hope of more. We boiled away 120 gallons yesterday, with 100 more to go. Today was seriously rainy. Tomorrow is showers, but I need to go to Cambridge this week. I think we’ll have to go for it. Boiling really seems to need one and a half people. I have to work, but there’s no more to bring in.

We’re finishing yesterday’s sap over propane on the back deck right now, so no final numbers.  It’s much darker than last years though. The first batch was dark amber, and this will be grade B. We had light amber last years, with one batch of Fancy. Beginner’s luck and more time to spend, but we’ve also heard from a friend in Chesterfield that that whole town is running dark this year.

Happy pigs We got electronet around the pigs on Friday, just in time. With the cattle panels no longer frozen down, they could just walk through. Friday was a bit iffy, but enough had melted yesterday that the posts are staying up.

Superhive is confirmed as dead: Prince pushed over its feeder Thursday to eat the syrup. Nobody came out after him. There’s a couple frames of honey left, and some dead bees, so I don’t know what to make of it. The middle hive is doing ok. I washed out and refilled their feeder and they’d eaten about half of it by Thursday. Prince conspicuously left this hive alone.  They’re out and about. They like maple sap and they’re into anything that looks like pollen.

We were talked out of doing pollen substitute a few years ago, because truly, the only thing New England has more of than bugs is pollen. However, I’ve given them syrup, and they clearly want pollen as well. I’d like them to have new bees ready for the maple bloom, so next year maybe we’ll try.

One pack of onion seeds clearly wasn’t enough. I ordered three bundles of plants from Miller’s and Lisa ordered seeds for the window boxes. The Hatch chilis have sprouted and Lisa caught a mouse eating them. Fortunately we have a lot.

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 5, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi,
    An olnline friend suggested I take a peek at your Flickr photos about your Tamworth sow, from piglet to adult. They were awesome!

    My youngest son and I just got a Large White piglet last week, through an odd set of circumstances.
    He’s adjusting to life on our farm quite well. He’s the first pig here in a long, long time.
    Anyhow, just a note to say hi to a fellow farmer. I’m in Western MA, in the Pioneer Valley. We have 68 acres of diversified organic including a small apple orchard.

    We are having one chilly springtime–I bet that’s even moreso where you folks are.

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