Finally finished with our first maple syrup. We gathered over 40 gallons of sap. We ruined the first boil, so we ended up with a quart of syrup for all of our hard work. But it sure tasted good on the waffles. We have a better understanding of the process and hopefully next year we will have a better season for it.
We went to the Maple Festival at Fort Hunter in Harrisburg last weekend and spoke with a gentleman who boiled his syrup the same way we did, in a cast iron kettle , then finished it up on the stove. He said that we were on the right track and by boiling in a kettle there will always be a smokey taste to the syrup. To get rid of that we will have to get an evaporator. I don't think we tap enough trees for that. Although we have been offered the opportunity to tap more trees on other farms next year, so who knows where this adventure might lead.
Now that is done, we are getting ready to start more seeds indoors. We have some sunflowers started from the Garden Show we attended at the Farm Show Complex. The kids were offered a chance to plant some seeds to watch grow, and Evelyn's seeds are sprouting already. we are looking to plant the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and Kohlrabi.
We have found some really great recipes for herbal fertilizer, pest repellent and powdery mildew remover. Check out www.UsefulWeeds.com. The recipes are located in their newsletter section. They are a herb shop in CT. They are very helpful and have great fresh herbs!!!!