fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden


Welcome to the ramblings of a fifty-something suburban "farmer"

Hoping that if you should stumble upon this blog my daily musings might bring a little smile to your day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

false alarm

Arghhhh!!. Last week I checked the weather and it looked pretty good for the next few weeks so I started tapping trees. Things started like gangbusters eight taps and almost twenty gallons of sap in about thirty six hours. My mind started to calculate an ocean of syrup that would gently bathe my sweet tooth for the entire year and then some( smack!!!, reality check)the temp dropped and haven't seen another drop of sap in two days and now we're looking at snow and cold most of next week .Oh well if it was easy everyone would do it. Luckily I got most of the parts for my first aquaponics system so we'll be working on that till the temps go up. Did I mention it's cold outside?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And they're off

What a difference a week makes .The Arctic weather we've been dealing with has finally loosened it icy grip and it's almost fifty today. After this post I am actually going out to tap the first trees of the season as it looks like warmer weather will be here for a bit. It's one of the advantages of being new to all of this I don't know any better (ignorance is bliss). We'll see ,as we can't do worse than last year (FINGERS CROSSED).The sun is reflecting so brightly I might even get some color and a good dose of vitamin D.
Another endeavor is starting to come together as my inside aquaponics system should be up in the next week or so. It would have been nice to have started it last fall so we'd have veggies all winter but such is life.At last we'll have them really early if all goes well. it should be interesting to see if I can juggle all of this and still keep what little of my sanity I cling to. Stay tuned for more riveting commentary .Did I mention it's really sunny?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

here we go again

Well it's that time again.Looks like we're getting close to sugarin' time. Things look a little different this year(what's up with all of this white stuff)I'll have to be careful placing taps or I'm going to need a step ladder to be able to pull sap come March. There is one advantage I have new places to tap the trees that I couldn't reach last year.
It truly has been a life changing year. In a little less than a year I've gone from a part time chef to a full Time farmer to a part time farmer and a candlemaker. I don't think that I had seen the word sustainable (except maybe in a Viagra ad) and the idea of raising (and killing )my own food was about as exciting as getting my nipples pierced(I don't want to get them done ,just in case you weren't sure how I felt about it).I have recently placed my order for this springs day old chicks that i will feed organically ,raise humanely and then proceed to send them to freezer camp where they will feed us for the next winter. Two heritage piglets will also join us in the spring so that the chickens won't be lonely in the freezer next fall as well as a grass fed Devonshire steer to complete my version of Kenmore's ark.
In looking back I'm not even sure where these changes even came from .The chain of events that have transformed us from suburbanites to homesteaders has been really quite remarkable.If you believe in coincidence this is another of those times in my life that it took fifteen or so of these coincidences to put me where I am now. I just wonder what God has in store for me now. It has been a very interesting journey. I've come to respect the "circle of Life " and to understand that in order for me to eat something must die. More importantly I've also realized that I can treat these things that I eat in a respectful and humane way and that the steak or chop that's on my plate didn't just come out of a package ,it was part of a living thing that sacrificed it's life for mine to carry on. (whoa ,getting too deep here). Anyways things are a bit different around here this year.
We have cleared out a pretty good piece of our land (much to my neighbors chagrin) and plan to have a fairly large market garden this year ,along with greenhouses and a chicken coop and I WILL get that mud oven built this year. We've started making our own soap, bread and crackers, sprouting and lacto fermenting anything we can get our hands on and in some ways becoming one of those earthy crunchy people we used to frown upon (don't worry we're still conservative Christians).
Anyways the taps have come in and the lines are ready ,I've got to dig out my buckets and start a tappin .My sugar shack from last year had to come down so i had to dig out my evaporator and i 'll be putting some sort of a wind break up so i 'll keep you posted as we attempt to beat last years total of two and a half gallons .Wish me luck. Did I mention that snow sure is deep?