21 April 2015

caught the bug

The basket-making bug that is... inspired by Soulemama, and the intro to this, I set off to the hardware store to grab some clothesline rope and try it out.  These are baskets #1, #2 and #3--which I added some fabric scraps to for color.  This was all yesterday, when I should have been homeschooling, and fitting in my own schoolwork...but I just couldn't stop!  

Today I'm using up the last of my 200ft roll to make an oval shape that I'm going to try to dye.  

I'm an impatient crafter, so I'm loving how quickly these go and how each one is a bit of a surprise in the end.  Can't wait to work on more!  

Joining Nicole today...

17 April 2015

moving chickens

It is a sure sign of spring when we move the chickens across the road from our house.  
This year we bought pullets from our friend in Connecticut...but I am also going to try and hatch some chicks, which is something I have never done.  We've had a good broody hen before who hatched many chicks for us...but none of our current hens show much broodiness. :)

We will move their coop down this part of the field, which will eventually be sweet corn (and which was potatoes, leeks and onions last year.

According to Z, the pullet eggs taste great!

15 April 2015

Z is 8!

Our 8 year old!

1 day old

3 days old

5 years old

This little man is such a hard worker.  And as my friend said today, a truly genuine little man.
His easy-going, observant and thoughtful personality is such a blessing in our family (with some other rather intense my own) ;)

We rarely eat out, so the kids get to choose a special meal for their birthday and he chose chinese food.  His bapche (grandma) visited from a few hours away with dinner and cake (of his choice as well).  The sun shone and we spent hours outside today.  It was a great day celebrating this great kid!  Happy birthday,  Z-man!  

14 April 2015

stuck in the mud

After boiling out on Saturday afternoon, we decided to gather the taps and buckets after dinner that night.  With the help of a friend who was staying with us for the weekend, it went quickly...we loaded up the buckets on a trailer and Adam was pulling them out of the woods with the tractor.  ...Until he got stuck in mud.  Deep, deep mud.  

He probably spent just as much time trying to get the tractor and trailer out of the mud as we did pulling the taps and buckets from the trees.  
Finally, we left the trailer in the woods and we loaded the buckets onto the fork attachment on the tractor.  

Of course, while this was happening, there were four little farm kids thoroughly enjoying the mud.

13 April 2015

boiling out

On Saturday, we boiled out...finishing up our sugaring season.
It was a beautiful day and friends stopped by to enjoy the last maple-y, steamy day in the sugar house.  I made some 5-grain waffle batter and brought our little waffle iron out the sugar house for everyone to have waffles and fresh syrup.

This year was slow but steady.  We collected 1500 gallons of sap and made 37 gallons of syrup (9 more than last year, but no where near our record year of 58 gallons).  We are thankful for every drop, though.  And will have enough to sell our quarts and 12 oz jars at market and through etsy for most of the year.  As I think I've mentioned many times, our little homestead relies on all of the different ventures we do as income--and this year we were so thankful that we our set up for sugaring is small and therefore our costs are low.  It would have been stressful during this cold season to worry about producing enough product to cover costs like larger sugarers must worry about.  It was an enjoyable season for the whole family!

08 April 2015

K's View

K took these photos a few days ago... certainly not from today, as we were sleeted on while gathering sap.  And we didn't boil this morning because the temperatures hovered above freezing for a couple of nights.  

This sugaring season has had many of those days... warm enough for the sap to run, but it doesn't get quite cold enough at night.  Or nice cold nights and the days are just too chilly, overcast and windy. 

But these lovely photos were from one of the good sugaring days this year.

02 April 2015

growing up

All of the sudden, our little farmbaby is looking much more grown up!  
But, we can still call her farmbaby, right?

collecting sap in her own pail
dressing herself and wanting to send a photo to "meme"
hanging out with big brother on the porch on our first warm(er) day
(...can you tell that she loves purple and has a favorite skirt?) ;)