Lifestyle

Its Maple Syrup Time!

By Katie


Its the most wonderful time of the year.

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Well, its the most sweetest time of the year:  Maple Syrup Season.  When the days get above 0° and the nights stay below, you know that the sap is running in your maple trees.  (Its also running in your birch trees and walnut trees – with less sugar content, but still tappable and syrupable.)

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I love tapping my trees because, in addition to getting delicious syrup, it gets me outside.

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I find it hard to get outside with babies at this time of year.  Its wet, cold, and muddy.  Maple syrup is fun, quick and easy. I can go collect sap.  I can dodge outside for a few precious minutes to check my boil.

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The chance to breathe the fresh air revitalizes me and makes me believe that this season will end.  (Ha.  Am I talking about the winter season, or the baby season? You’ll never know!)

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I am not going to write a how-to, because this is only the second year that I am tapping my trees so I am far from being an expert.  There are many blogs and books out there that have a lot of sugaring wisdom in them.   Last year I read Sugartime by Susan Carol Hauser.  It was delightful, though her trick of 2-drips-off-a-wooden-spoon to indicate the readiness of your syrup was difficult to copy.   This year, I bought a hydrometer.  Using it has taught me a lot about the consistency of syrup as its finishing up.

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I empty my buckets at the end of every day.  I have come to 1 or 2 over flowing buckets which stinks because, “lost sap!” but the reality is, I have twins.  And they get blamed whenever I run out of time to complete a task.   Stinks for them, but they’ll adjust.  Or they will learn that Mama loves her projects 🙂

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Anyways.  This is a good sap year and I have been collecting gallons upon gallons of sap which equals gallons of syrup.

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I had a major boil over.  It made me want to cry.  I lost over 2 gallons of sweet, delicious syrup.   (I blame the twins.  But it wasn’t their fault.  Their dad was putting them to bed.  It was my fault.  I thought I could multi-task and clean up the house. Rule 1 of syrupping: You can’t multitask when you have Almost Syrup boiling. )

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There is probably another week or so of sap collecting,  another finish boil or 2 and then the season will wrap up for another year.  The end of sap season brings the beginning of seed season.   And seed season brings garden season and outside and freshness and dirt.

I can’t wait!

 

Lifestyle

We Went on a Field Trip.

by Vicki

Homeschooling has been going well.

Better than I thought it would.

We haven’t started sending Peyton to “real” school yet, so I guess that’s a pretty good indication that we are surviving. 🙂

IMG_0847Over the last couple of weeks we have been learning the letters “L” and “A”. Along with these letters our units have been about Leaves and Apples. I thought that this would be the perfect time to visit Chudleigh’s Apple Farm.  Aunt Danielle, Kiera and Carter joined us which made a fun day even more fun! We were blessed with the perfect Autumn weather and were able to enjoy the sunshine as we explored the farm, picked apples, slid down giant slides, watched animals, and ate some yummy treats.

IMG_0881IMG_0872IMG_0890IMG_0886Homeschooling Bonuses: we were able to choose a day to go that had beautiful weather, we could stay from 10:30-4 without worrying about catching a bus, and I got to enjoy the farm with all of my kiddos! IMG_0921IMG_0939IMG_0935Visiting Chudleigh’s is one of my favorite Autumn traditions. What traditions do you have for this beautiful season? IMG_0861