5.5.17 There’s this time between seasons, when there seems to be a lull – it seems nothing is happening; a void between what was and what will come. But the signs of spring and the farewell to winter continue to be undeniable: trout lilies, bellwort, trillium and dutchman’s breeches litter the forest floor. While Squabetty is a special place any season of the year, the spring holds ripe the promises of summer. There’s excitement in the air as my siblings and I look more closely at the projects for the year – the ones we have been thinking and talking about since last summer. We’re ordering supplies and discussing the prioritization of projects. Keeping an old place like Squabetty in tip top shape is a labor of love and talent. Because we are able to do most of the work ourselves, we know the quality meets our high standards. While our long term goal is to turn Squabetty over to the next generation in prime condition, the short term goal is to cherish the time in this heavenly place with family and friends. Feeling grateful.
4.16.17 It’s been a week since snow fell, and happily melted. Spring-like daytime temperatures and longer days have finally given way to spring beauties in the woods, peepers in the wetlands and the green, green grass of another season. There’s an excitement in the air – of better things to come. I’m impatient, and turn over the decaying autumn leaves, searching for sprouts, quickly covering them back up when I find them, knowing all is well. The old place wakes from its slumber. We throw open the windows and doors, anticipating the time here, with family and friends – the best days of each year. I’ll clean the garden beds and plant more flowers, knowing full well that the magic is not in the flowers, but in the memories families and friends create here.
3. 27.17 We survived the dumping of Winter Storm Stella two weeks ago – about 30 inches; and the cold and continued snowy weather since then. Spring is nowhere in sight here in the North Country! Despite the whims of Mother Nature, this weekend was Vermont Maple Open House Weekend, an annual event when sugarhouse across the state open their doors to share their operations and samples of sweet treats, even when it’s too cold and the sap is not running! I headed up to Runamok Maple in Cambridge, to taste their new line of infused maple syrups. As mentioned in a previous post, Squabetty trees are tapped by Runamok. Because this operation is huge – 81,000 trees tapped, producing 2 million gallons of sap – there is no quaint sugarhouse with steam escaping from the vents in the roof. Instead, it’s a technologically advanced system of tanks, tubes and machines. Regardless, the end result is a fine thing – delicious, sweetness right from the land. The infused syrups are a treat for the palate. For more info on Runamok’s operations, see their website: http://runamokmaple.com/. There’s something to be said about eating food from your own land. On long walks in the woods, I hug the trees and thank them for their sweetness.
3.18.17 It’s cold up here in Vermont recently – today a high of 7 degrees with a wind chill advisory for 25 below. The chickadees and finches are all puffed up and filling up on suet and black oiled sunflower seeds. Despite the cold outside, I’m pouring over seed catalogs, looking for flowers to fill the new beds at Squabetty. With a new grow lab system, I’ll be starting the seeds inside so I can transplant over Memorial Day, when it’s safe to put plants out here in Northern Vermont. Looking forward to warmer days.
Welcome to our new website and weekly blog. Today, the temperatures are in the 50s for a second day in a row, meaning the sap is running in our sugarbush . Our maple trees are tapped by Runamok Maple in Cambridge, VT. Here are two links to see what the operation looks like and the products they are making.
Oprah Winfrey listed Runamok products on her annual list of Favorite Things this year. We’re hoping for a banner sugaring year.