My First Pint of Homemade Maple Syrup

5 gallons of sap collected in 3 days

Strained out bits, bugs, and particles through cheesecloth

Boiled 85% down on our outdoor grill (Maybe next year, I’ll build a fire box…)

Finished the last on my stove so I could watch to make sure it didn’t burn or turn to candy.

This is what I’m left with.
Unbelievably yummy!

Pure joy.

 

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By |2019-03-15T07:21:36-04:00March 21st, 2019|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|0 Comments

How to Tap a Maple Tree in 5 Easy Steps

I’ve always wanted to try making my own maple syrup. From past reading, I knew it was easy to do, didn’t require a lot of paraphernalia, and was relatively idiot proof.

So I decided this was the year. I took a 1-hour class, bought my equipment and picked out two beautiful old Maple trees right off my deck. I’m not looking to go into business–I just want to make enough for my family, so two trees ought to be plenty.

All I had to do was wait for the daytime temps to get above freezing with nighttime temps still below freezing. (For most areas, that’s somewhere between February and March.)

bucket Tube spileStep 1: Clean […]

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By |2019-03-09T12:35:13-04:00March 9th, 2019|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|0 Comments

One of the Most Incredible Scents on the Planet

Flowering-black-locust

This is a Black Locust tree. Our property is full of them. And at this time of year, the most glorious scent wafts through the air. I do believe it may be my all-time most favorite smell. If only the web had a scratch-n-sniff feature… But come to find out, perfumeries have also discovered this heavenly scent and its used in many perfumes.

It’s also one of my all-time favorite wild edibles The flower clusters taste like the sweetest of sweet spring peas with a floral note–which shouldn’t be surprising because Black Locusts are actually in the pea family (Fabaceae).

The entire flower portion is edible, […]

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By |2018-05-05T11:51:49-04:00May 17th, 2018|Nature|0 Comments

Bird Songs – How Many Could You Identify?

My long-time readers are probably almost as familiar with the road I daily walk on as I am. These two decades started with Kiera 1 and Lilly, and continued with Kiera 2. She has been gone 4 years now, but I have kept walking, I guess as much out of habit as anything.

Lately,  I’ve used the walk as a kind of meditation to help clear my mind of work pressures. One of the easiest ways to push away work thoughts is to just listen. Listen to the wind. Listen to the insects. And really listen to the birds.

As I was listening, I tried to figure out how many bird songs I could identify.  And […]

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By |2017-07-21T12:43:27-04:00June 11th, 2017|Life, Nature|0 Comments

Planting Sustainable Outdoor Snacking Stations

I was just reading an article about planting a food forest by a farmer whose philosophy I share. And it reminded me that I’ve been doing a variation on this with my property for about 10 years. I call it creating “Snacking Stations.”

I started doing this with an eye toward building in “passive food providers” onto my property so that even if I might not have time for a large garden every year, I would still be able to enjoy fresh food provided by nature. It’s all part of my growing interest in sustainability–a way of thinking that seems more appropriate than ever.

The idea was to plant fruit trees […]

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By |2017-05-06T13:09:59-04:00May 6th, 2017|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|0 Comments

My New Year’s Wish for the World

My wish for all of us is that, in the midst of political insanity, we remember that we are all connected. We all share the same home–Planet Earth. We all share the same gene strands that make us human. And we need to do a better job of remembering what we have in common rather than always focusing on our differences. There are no winners in war. Just one side that appears to lose less.

To help you remember the depth of our connection to ALL things:

     

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By |2016-12-25T11:41:21-04:00January 1st, 2017|Life, Nature|0 Comments
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