Monday, February 1, 2010

Halfway Through Winter, Halfway to Spring!

Despite the very frosty weather, we're starting to feel a thaw on the homestead! We had been looking for good old-fashioned steel maple syrup buckets, and found them at Tap My Trees.
Going by bark, opposite growth patterns, seed pods, and dried up old leaves, we picked out three trees which we believe to be maples of one sort or another. We drilled, tapped, and watched sap start to drip!

Seeds are starting to arrive, and it's time again to start making our paper pots.

We signed up for a fruit CSA with North Star Orchard, and we're looking forward to apples, peaches, plums, nectarines, and pears from August to November.

And, our hens gave us a whopping 166 eggs for the month of January! Don't worry, we didn't eat them all ourselves - sharing is part of the joy.



Janine said...

Good stuff.
If you get syrup, do you need to do anything to it before you can use it?

Was it hard to get into a CSA? I hear that there are waiting lists for them.

Also, Where do you order your seed from?

Gardeness said...

Hi Janine!

All you really need to to with the sap is boil it down to evaporate the water and concentrate the sugar. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make about 1 gallon of syrup.

If you're interested in joining a CSA, now is the time to contact them. This is the second one we've joined, and so far we haven't had any trouble, but it's best to let them know you're interested as early as possible. Most of them have an open enrollment around this time of year.

This year we ordered all of our seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. We like them because they're a non-profit organization devoted to preserving heirloom varieties. All of their seeds are open-pollinated, so if we want to save them from year to year we can. I also find their prices to be very competitive.

Do you know what you're planning to grow this year?