Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On Your Mark, Get Set........GOat!

Biscuit is finally getting her goats! She has completely cleaned out the old chicken coop (chickens are all gone, for now) and has made the grain barn ready to accept that long awaited Goat Feed!

A few changes need to be made to make the old coop - a 12x15 cinder-block building - ready for the ladies. On Friday, a friend with a tractor will come and grade the slope to prevent the annual thaw from flooding the building. A shopping trip to pick up a couple of milking items, then off to the farm to pick up her girls!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Farm is a-Buzz!

Spring is coming! This year we are adding a bee hive. Number One and I have signed up for a series of Bee Keeping classes with a local Master Beekeeper. Yesterday was the second in the series and we came home with a lovely hive...some assembly required!

Number One is up to the challenge of building the hive and when he is finished it should look like the one in this photo, which was taken at Bee Class.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Even Sappier Than Before!

As posted earlier, I love the Maple Sap Run season! I am a bit discouraged this year because the sap started so early that we missed some of it. The weather has not been optimal for consistent running.

While at our local Farm Store, I inquired about others reporting the success of the maple season. I learned that everyone seems to be experiencing the same results. I actually found this somewhat encouraging, only because I didn't feel like such a complete failure! Two VERY IMPORTANT tidbits of info came out of that conversation that is as valuable as the maple run this year, though.

1. Put in your taps the weekend before Valentine's Day for our area. That way, no matter when the season actually starts, we won't miss any of it!

2. When we find a bucketful of frozen sap, don't bother to boil it down. Throw out the ice chunk! This really perplexed me! All the frozen liquid is nearly pure water - the very stuff that we boil out of it! All the good sweet sugary content does not freeze and is at the bottom. I think I heard the Angels singing this fact out loud at that moment!

I knew that pure maple syrup won't freeze, but never really thought about the sap.

I thought we were ready this year we will be even "readyier"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Sappy Story!

This year for the Maple Sap Run we were more prepared than ever before! Having battled with old milk jugs for collection in the past, we decided to up the ante and buy "real" maple collecting buckets. Of course, that our local Farm Store had them dirt-cheap certinly sealed the deal of the big investment!

Normally, new buckets cost in the $25.00/ea range. I found them for $6.50/each! I picked up 12 new-to-us buckets and lids. We also improved the collection by adding in some "line" to hook several trees or taps into one bucket.

The Maple business really belongs to Number One. He decided to let Trink help with the run, so she has three of her own trees. They are located in the driveway - which I love! I absolutely love the sight of maple buckets this time of year - SPRING is on its way!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

He's no Rocky, Bullwinkle!

Every year we get at least one flying squirrel in the house. This year we had four - all in the same week! Our two cats, Fred and Ginger, were on the scene immediately, which was a great advantage to Number One and his "Squirrelanator 2000.1" whacking device. They kept it cornered and immobilized until back-up arrived.

The first varmint was discovered by Trink when it ran across her face while she was stuck under her bed. Poor thing, she screamed like a little girl, which made everyone else's blood run cold! Number One ran in to the rescue and the rodent attempted to climb up his camoflaged pants (he did not scream like a little girl - I'm so proud!) He quickly grabbbed a piece of PVC and let the little rat have it!

The "Squirrelanator 2000.1" now has four marks on it.