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Category Archives: self sustainability

  • Tough sugaring so far

    Very tough sugaring so far, the weather isn’t cooperating. The conditions on the ground are horrible with ice and melting snow, you never know what will happen on the next step you take. Then you need to handle utensils in these conditions, next to a raging evaporator, glasses covered with steam, at night, by yourself. The potential is real for a freak accident that involves boiling, burning, impalement and maple syrup. We also had a wind storm which blew everything away but the cover on the evaporator thank god; a building around the evaporator will be very nice.

    Some trees produce profuselyIMG_8205

    The sap wagon
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    Got stuck… had to shovel snow out from underneath the sap wagonIMG_8211

    boiling awayIMG_8209

    Hello fogginess my old friendIMG_8215IMG_8220

    FuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckIMG_8221

    The reward: 1.5 gallons of unadulterated maple sweetnessIMG_8230

  • The first collection

    I got about 30 gallons of sap, handling  full time work and a homestead can be challenging, I finished at dusk. It is a great chore to end the day with, I just wish I could do things at a more leisurely pace.IMG_8191

  • Maple sugaring, season 2

    We are ramping up again for our second season of Maple sugaring. With perfect weather ahead:

    Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 8.54.26 AM

    And based on a UVM study, I tend to prefer tapping early even with the chance of cold snaps as Winter & Spring figure out who the new boss is. Essentially from what I gather, you can’t tap too early but you can tap too late. I also really like the taste of early flow and the season is spread out in more manageable chunks of labor.

    This sled is proving to be invaluableIMG_8163

    The wife & kid are traveling but the neighbors are here to helpIMG_8165

    Cleaning the tanks and buckets takes a long while, it’s amazing we did it last year without a well for water.IMG_8170

    It takes a lot of work to get everything ready, we will apply a lot of lessons learned last year. I uncovered the evaporator and didn’t even have to kick out a raccoon.

  • Traveling Wood

    With decent snow, a new chainsaw, a large sled and the recently discovered “tire splitting” technique, we’ve been amassing a large quantity of wood.

    Here’s what getting it home looks like, I’ve been working on 4 poplars which domino’d onto one another during the last surprise wind storm.

    The sled & ATV combo is also a great way to move children around.

  • Ice blocks for the fridge

    Taking advantage of some very cold nights to make some ice for the fridge. Big blocks like these keep through a few warm days. Eventually we’ll want a way to make a lot more ice and a place to keep it underground, the hope it that it would keep through the Summer.

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    IMG_7980We cut pieces with a hatchet.

  • Kettle to the metal

    We’ve been having static electricity problem in the house so we decided to take humidification seriously. Pots filled with water on the stove tend to be noisy so it was time to go legit with an actual kettle.

    Friends gave us this great deviceIMG_1948

    one vinegar bath later, it’s back in business.IMG_7957We haven’t had static electricity issues since the kettle came online, unlike its modern counterparts, it will never break.

  • We upgraded our wood splitting setup with an old tire

    It’s incredible the difference a tire makes, my favorite part is that it only takes away a bad part of splitting with a maul (bending over repeatedly) and takes nothing away from the joy of it.
     
    In one week end, we started the pile again and are quickly catching up.
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