This day started as a "misty, moisty morning" like the Mother Goose rhyme, and I was sure glad I was able to finish the sap boil down yesterday. I got a little over a quart of syrup which I finished off in the house and put in 1/2 pint canning jars. I boiled the sap a bit longer than I did the first batch and this turned out a lovely clear dark amber with a smoky flavor. It's delicious! I actually like the darker syrup better than the more golden color of the first batch. You know, for the effort involved to make maple syrup, I'm surprised at how little people charge -- that syrup should sell for $300/8 oz! I don't think I'll sell mine after all. At least not until I have a bigger set up that makes the process easier to do and more in line with my idea of economic return.
Chin Lee is banging at the door to get out into the coop run now that the snow is melted. The chickens like scratching in the mud and chasing every bug they see. I already have had to make two fence checks as my "crazy" hen has managed to get outside the run. I have enough varmints around without her putting herself in jeopardy. As soon as the ground firms up I will clean out the coop and turn everything over in the compost bin. I should have some really nice compost this fall.
I took a quick look around the woods and see all sorts of branches down that I can use to make fence panels and stack up for this winter's kindling. Can't wait till the ground firms up.
Went to the feed store yesterday and picked up a load of supplies for the chickens and the garden. I hauled the bamboo and the makings for my organic soil fertilizer recipe (the one from Mother Earth News (June/July2006 issue)) out to the high tunnel while the ground was still hard. Tom says he will buy a new spark plug for the BCS this week and rev it up for me. I told him I want to get the oats and wheat in the ground hopefully by the end of next week while the moon is still good. Also bought some more buttercrunch lettuce seed to plant as the first I planted did not germinate, and I picked up a type of cabbage called Red Rock. I have not heard of it but wanted a red cabbage to complement my Copenhagen Market. I hope it is a red cabbage -- I'll have to try to look it up. And since I liked my friend Rebecca's big beets so much, I bought a pack of Detroit Dark Red to grow with my Bull's Blood beets.
Scrubbed the floor late last night after I finished the syrup and wiped down the bathroom. Still need to do the bath tubs and I want to scrub the stone floors. Tom is going to move the wood out of the mud room so I can open the back door. I am looking for my clothesline -- don't know where I put it. I can't find my book Got Dirt? either. That is a book I got from the Barron County Ag Agent about school gardens while I was at the Local Food Summit, and I am looking for it as I need to give a little talk about school gardens and wanted to use it as a reference. I can only think that it inadvertently got put in one of the bags of books I donated to the Park Falls library.
Tom fixed Vegetable lasagna for lunch today so I'm going to go eat!