Until 1752, the new year in England, and thus in New England, started on March 25. This makes a lot of sense, the year really does start in March, with sugaring. Which, by the way, doesn’t mean that the holidays shouldn’t be in December. In March, there’s work that must be done. In December, there’s time to veg with the harvest in.
I grant you, Lisa started onions and celery a couple weeks ago, but that’s a modern innovation. It took glass to be able to start plants even in March, and to do it in February took electric lights or more heat than a farmer could afford even the 19th century. I took a look at the Hatch chile seed packet and sure enough, they should have gone in then too. Lisa planted them this week, which should still be plenty of time. Actually she only planted 216 of them, maybe a third of the smallest packet we could get. The tomatoes and the rest of the peppers will go in next week, all aimed at being ready to set out in the second half of May. We’re planting many more of all of them than we need, with the expectation of selling the plants. Lisa has two wholesale outlets identified. Aside from the income, that lets us plant several varieties of both tomatoes and peppers without wasting seeds.
The sap was running today as I placed the first forty taps. This year I’m putting a five gallon bucket under each one or two taps. The idea is that I can go away for a couple of days without spilling sap onto the ground. For the same reason, I’m not using any old fashioned buckets this year. They too can overflow.
Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced twenty or thirty buckets. I’d like to do about the same number of taps as last year (70), but I can only find another half a dozen buckets. We bought 100 a year ago, and we should have gotten a bunch more from the community kitchen. I need to come up with a plan tomorrow.