It's been a good LONG time since we posted anything about what's been happening on the Homestead, so why not start on National Pancake Day!
The maple sap season is finally getting going. We've had a wacky winter with warm temps through most of December and then several Polar Vortexes came through (or perhaps one just stuck around) through most of January and February. Temperature "spiked" twice since the first of the year, but only for a day or two, then plunged back below freezing. Checking things over in the Homestead Journal, last year by this date we had well over 14 gallons of maple syrup. As of last night, we've made just over 1 gallon for 2019.
GLIMMER OF HOPE
The forecast doesn't look as foreboding as I've come accustomed to seeing. The sun is shining more and patches of grass are starting show up. I'm hopeful that the trees will really start to release the sap, but I say that with caution. The last thing I want to happen is to get inundated with sap to produce. That was a serious problem at the end of last year's season compounded by the fact that we'd completely run out of bottles to put it in. With the help of my father-in-law, we should have 1-2 barrels of sap to process this weekend.
2018 RECAP OF THE HOMESTEAD (the highlights)
- ended up with over 23 gallons of maple syrup in 2018
- developed the Pate Homestead website and had modest returns in sales
- sold maple syrup and homemade jam at a craft sale in April 2018 and the Montague Farmer's Market in July and August...the market is definitely something I would do again
- the hens did great producing eggs all year, but we did end up swapping the flock around some
- Junior (the dog) joined our family in the late summer
- Mighty Dillon arrived to the farm in September 2018, making us horse owners once again
- deer season was fun, but yielded no meat for the freezer...although I had my chances
- during the holidays, I made about 30 reindeer and sold/delivered them to friends and family near and far
- spent some time around Christmas and made a farmhouse table for the dining room