Seriously, someone turn on the heat!

First, I AM NOT HAPPY WITH THE WEATHER GODS! It was going so well… then the cold hit… AGAIN! I was super excited to get out and tap the maple trees, which I did two weeks ago. The sap started to flow and things were looking good, then BAM! In comes the cold and freezes everything up. In order to get the trees to “pump” sap you need freezing night time temps and warm day time temps, and this needs to happen before the trees bud or you get “off-flavors” in your syrup. I only have about 2 gallons of sap so far, not nearly enough to make it worth my while to boil down to syrup. The ratio of sap to syrup is 40:1. I was discussing this with my Mother the other day and she said, “if it’s only 40:1 you would think that maple syrup would cost more. I mean a bottle of syrup is pretty cheap.” I had to laugh at that one. Like most people, my Mom doesn’t know that the “maple syrup” you buy in stores is just water, corn syrup and maple flavoring (and various preserving agents). It’s NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE REAL THING. Corn, corn, corn… it’s in everything, literally! If you haven’t read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, you really fucking should! Excuse my french.

Gene and I spent the day yesterday surveying the land around the property and settled on a spot to erect the tipi. We chose a patch of flat grassland next to the barn, rather than an area in the woods. I debated the amount of work it would take to clear trees, level the land and run power and water to an area in the woods. In the end I settled for convenience and less work. I can run temporary power from the barn to the tipi as well as water without having 100’s of feet of cords and hose. Also, I’m close to the animals so that I can respond if there is ever a ruckus in the middle of the night… electric fence or not, hungry animals are determined. One other advantage of the location is that the tipi is visible from the road. I can take advantage of peoples curiosity and hopefully entice them onto the property to buy eggs!

Tonight the nest box goes into the rabbit cage… if all goes well I should have baby bunnies on Sunday. I didn’t plan on “Easter Bunnies” when I bred the doe, but by golly that’s just the way it timed out! I’m building a new hutch for the rabbits that will be located outside next to the barn as soon as the giant pile of snow goes away. Actually it’s not a hutch, but rather a 2×4 frame that I can suspend the wire cages from. Right now the rabbits are still in the garage with litter pans underneath. I hate litter pans… what a mess. The new spring, summer, fall (they have to go back in the garage for winter-too cold) housing will allow for the droppings to just collect on the ground where I can scoop them up and put them in the garden. I’m going to allow the chickens access to the droppings too- apparently from what I’ve read, the chickens love to dig through the pile and pick out worms and other creepy crawlies.

The chickens are enjoying the move back to the barn, despite the cold. It’s been a long winter and they haven’t seen grass for a long time. Velvita the duck, really enjoys all the mud puddles and quacks and grunts excitedly when ever she finds a new one. I wonder how out of place she feels being surrounded by all the chickens? I can also say that Velvita is out producing the chickens when it comes to eggs. She started laying again back in February and has faithfully laid an egg everyday since. I have 15 new chicks coming on Tuesday and I’m excited for some of the new breeds I will be raising. Including 3 Araucanas that lay blue-green colored eggs.


I’ve got the garden plot pretty much laid out. It’s going to be a long day of tilling soil once the ground finishes thawing out. I tried to picture our forefathers doing this work with a horse and plow and came to the conclusion that we are serious pussies when it comes to hard work. I will be using a gas powered tiller… and that’s still a lot of work! The cabbage seedlings are doing well and will soon be joined by tomatoes and peppers. It’s all coming together!

My ankle, for the most part, is all healed! No pun intended…

All this “new stuff” to learn! It’s exciting and overwhelming at times. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I’m actually doing this. I definitely don’t regret the decision. I miss my city friends and hope that a few of them make the trip North this summer for a visit… it gets lonely here some times. At this point, the positives definitely out weigh the negatives… hopefully this trend continues. If my biggest gripe come summer is HEAT and BUGS… I’m doing things right!

Stay warm šŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Seriously, someone turn on the heat!

  1. Hi Aaron, we sure do miss you in the city and at work ….. ha ha . We will be starting Gentles again next week . We are only doing 6×6 and 4×4 . We all need to learn how to do those bandaids again…. Duratouch will be put on hold for May and we will only be doing Gentles . Then come June we will be back on doing Duratouch. They told us this time will be the last time for Gentles. That is what they said before . Then John found out they needed more and no one else can make them. Kelly is busier then ever . And we miss her in the room. Brian is the new Manager for warehouse and medical . He is old and nice but he doesn’t want Kelly in the room at all because he doesn’t want to bother her. Kelly wants to still help out because you know her , she needs to move all the time. She fired Perry one of the sales guys, so now she has to do some of his work. She is Vice President for warehouse and Medical and she has to do some sales too and work with Bio and John . No one else wants too.
    Tina and I just got back from Vegas and it was so much fun. Tina invited Diane her friend to come too and at first it was fine but then she got annoying. She had to brush her teeth after each time we ate and did not bring her brush with her so we had to go back the room and brush her teeth. Then she took a shower every morning and every night and after swimming in the pool each day. So three times almost each day. Then the trip was all about her and what she wanted . Nothing about me and Tina and all . And you know Tina needed this trip because of Joe and I needed the trip because of work . So we all needed it.
    I’m glad your ankle is better . Take some pictures of the baby bunnies. My bunny “Butttons” is doing really good. He is so big . Tina’s rabbit “Cleo” is a lot bigger then mine. Still so cute though. We just missed Marcus and Terra in Vegas . They are going this weekend and we just got back Monday April 14th . We went April 9-14. The weather there was so nice . 80’s and 90’s almost every day . We got about 19 hours total of sleep the whole time. We went out dancing and drinking and just going out having fun . Only gambled a little bit and Tina won $80 , me I lost $40 . Hopefully this is not to long and it goes through. We really miss you and for sure Tina and I will come up and see you and stay in your tipi…. Talk to you later, Kim


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