Things here on our suburban nanofarm have gotten pretty routine. There's growing season in which we prepare our garden beds and plant the seeds - starting with peas, as soon as the soil can be worked. There's gathering wood for winter season, in which we begin the process of hauling, splitting and stacking firewood. There's pre-winter, when we start clearing out the gardens and putting away tools and repairing and moving animal enclosures. There's winter.
And, then, there's SPRING. Sometimes winter feels like we're holding our breath for spring, and when it gets here we start the process of finding the tools we'd left in the yard before the first snow. We rake leaves that were left on the lawn. We turn the garden beds and the compost pile and repair the raised-bed surrounds. We order chicks and seeds and start getting ready for both to be raised through the warmer months. We hang out our first load of laundry in the bright, warm sunshine, and we stand bare-armed in the warming breeze, eyes-closed, face-raised to the clear blue sky and the earth-warming sun.
And we tap the trees.
This past weekend, we boiled our first quart of maple syrup.
While Deus Ex Machina was in the yard boiling the sap, our new neighbor stopped to chat. When he saw us tapping the trees a few weeks ago, he was inspired to try it on his own, and he purchased some spiles and buckets. He also purchased a bundle of wood and used it as a (completely unnecessary and unexpected, but incredibly appreciated) barter. A bundle of wood in exchange for Deus Ex Machina helping him to find maple trees that he could tap.
The neighbors have several young children. We hear them outside playing all of the time. I'm very excited for the life they are going to have living on a three-acre wooded lot with parents who are interested in being outside and learning skills, like maple sugaring.
Sometimes the bounty of my life overwhelms me, and I am so thankful, every day, for how blessed we are.