Scenes from (Early) Spring

It’s starting to feel more and more like Spring on the farm!

…And it’s starting to feel more and more like we actually live on a farm!

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Maple production has continued.  We finished our 3rd batch this past weekend and it was the best one yet.  This week we’re in the midst of the fastest rushing sap we’ve seen so there will be at least a 4th (and probably a 5th) installment of our syrup!

We’ve tried boiling the sap down a number of ways – a grill, a rocket stove, and this last time we used a portable electric cooktop that we placed outside.

I think the rocket stove was the most fun, but we had a hard time keeping the sap boiling and it took a lot longer than it should have (like, 10 hours!).  We finished the last bit of sap on the kitchen stove and ended up with a decent amount of syrup.

The electric cooktop definitely won the contest for the most efficient way to boil down the amount of sap we collected. Continue reading

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Spring is on the Way {So is the New Herbal Wellness Basket!}

You know we’re getting closer to Spring in Ohio when it’s 45 degrees outside and I’m pulling out the lawn chair to soak up the sun.

Yes, there may still be snow on the ground, but these spring rays are just begging for someone to soak them up.  I will. IMG_0811

In the past week, the bird song has increased steadily each morning.  In addition to the usual chorus of black capped chickadees and cardinals, I’ve even begun hearing the red-winged blackbirds outside.  This is surely a sign that Winter’s fingers are unfurling their grasp around Northeast Ohio.

With the warming days we’ve been out playing in the yard, and joyfully been exploring the process of tapping our maple trees.  We do, after all, live in the heart of Ohio’s maple syrup kingdom.

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Happy Mabon! (And a maple-glazed squash recipe)

It’s Mabon, the fall equinox, and I can certainly tell that the days are starting to wind down into longer nights.

Today, the day and night are equal and everything is in balance.  It’s a wonderful time to reflect on the concept of balance in your own life.  What can you do to find peace between the light and dark parts of yourself?  Continue reading

Sunday Bakeday (Including a Great Granola Bar Recipe)

After turning on the oven, it’s always nice to use it for several things.  And so that’s just what I did today, for most of the day, actually.  What a glorious week it will be with fresh loaves of bread, Parmesan cheese crackers, and the best granola bars I’ve ever made!

(I also made a vegetable dish in the oven, but that recipe will soon be disclosed in an upcoming e-book that I’m helping to write!) Continue reading