Weekly Letter – pulling taps and ripping out old chicken coops

Hi Friends! We pulled all the taps over the weekend.  Maple syrup season is over for us.  Are we sad to see it go? Not exactly.  We went through a lot of sap this year!

Technically, we could still be making syrup, since the sap that has been flowing is viable.  But with the warm weather we’re getting a lower volume, so we end up waiting longer to boil. All the while the sap sits and starts to get… funky.

Here’s what trees that have not closed off do when you pull taps:

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It’s fine. Spring is really here now, we’re happy to shift our focus fully to other things while we continue to enjoy syrup on our pancakes and in new recipes we’re trying.  We averaged almost a quart of syrup per tap this year, which is pretty good for our non-commercial, non-vaccuum system!  I can only imagine how much syrup the big producers got!

We’re now gearing up for the broilers and Cornish game hens we’re raising.  The chicks arrive in under 3 weeks!  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you again to everyone who ordered from us. We are so honored to provide a small portion of the food for your tables.

We’re planning to run the broilers in a new part of our land this year, but some work is needed to get it ready.  Chiefly, we need to remove an old chicken coop and run.

Here is what the chicken coop and run looked like originally:

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Have you ever dismantled a chicken coop?  Surprisingly lots of work!  We converted the entire thing to reusable lumber, but the fencing poses a problem.  The chicken run, which was here when we moved in, was a patchwork of different sizes of chicken wire combined with garden fencing and hardware cloth–not something you can just pull off of posts and roll up.  Much time was spent this weekend with thick gloves and metal snips to get that stuff into portable chunks.

Here’s what’s left to clean up now:

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Soon enough that space will be wide open and ready to receive a new batch of birds.

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