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vt_maple_man
Well, We began to boil sap on March 4th, and boiled again on the 6th. Then it froze up and stayed frozen for about a week. Now on the 15th, we have had days over 40˚f for at least a week, with hardly any freezing happening. I am making grade B now which is a darker syrup due to more yeast growing in the sap as a result of warmer conditions. Its too warm for a sustained season, at this point.
We'll see what happens after monday when the temp is supposed to hit 76˚!! I have made about 1/3 of a "normal" crop.
Ground is bare, robins and Red-wing Blackbirds are singing...I heard a frog in the woods!
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I am back in Fairfield, Vt. for my 5th season making syrup at the Burnor farm.
I think we have about 980 taps out there, not sure. Cold right now on the 1st of March...it has been for a week now. Might warm up next week>..?

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I spent the last two weeks cutting and hauling logs out of the woods here at the home woods. They will be milled for our new woodshed, to be built next summer. We will tear down the old woodshed and replace it. The trees were hickory, ash, white oak, spruce and basswood.
I also replaced the engine block heater in the Dodge. Need it now, we are getting some colder weather finally. There hasn't been any snow on the ground until January 13th! Weather will be different as we move into the next millennium.
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Well, visited my father in NH. and now am back in Avon, preparing things for winter. Jobs include jacking up a floor in a big house and replacing a carrying beam; helping an elderly woman pack her belongings to move to the midwest; working on our 40' steel ketch; finishing a 3-D dragon sculpture in steel; splitting out locust fenceposts;
Halloween coming up! I might go out on the town...
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I have been hauling firewood and stacking it for son Peter and for myself for the past week, and dodging rain showers. The skies and colored trees have been wonderful for my spirit! The ravens say something as they fly over each day.
We made apple crisp twice last week...m-m-m-m--m it was good! We had venison steak for lunch today and pumpkin flavored pancakes for breakfast. Lattes for am coffee! Something to get out of bed for!
P
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In Vermont to haul firewood for sap evaporation. Had waffles this AM with maple syrup on 'em! Good.
The hardwoods are just starting to turn their colors yesterday and today. No big colors yet.
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I completed a stainless steel deck railing for friends on Lake Ontario. I had the most fun creating this project! We started with several drawings and it evolved into what it is now.
The next project is a small dragon statue.



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I am back from a long season of syrup-making in Fairfield, Vt. From 884 trees came 285 gallons of maple syrup.
It was a darker syrup than usual in the beginning of the season. The trees had a different chemical make-up I think. Syrup produced in the colder( earlier) part of the season is typically lighter in color, because there is less bacteria and yeast in the sap. All equipment is clean and the newly drilled hole in the tree is clean.
I burned 14 cords of wood from the woodshed to produce the 285 gals.
Also during the early part of the season we got a 30" snowfall, which made getting around the woods quite difficult until some settling and melting took place. First picture is of sons Alex and Forrest during tapping. The second is of "the boys sugarin', 2011.

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I am working on two artistic projects at present. One, a sculpture of a dragon about two feet high made of steel. The other a railing of stainless for friends on Lake Ontario. This railing will conform to safety standards ,but will also have two dimensional animals , waves and cattails incorporated into its design. This for their small upper deck on the house.
Three of our four horses have an infected foot each and treatment requires daily soaking of the foot for 30 min in hot water and epsom salts. This is accomplished by pulling a section of a truck inner tube over the infected foot, and folding the other end of the "tube" up against the leg, thus making a boot that will hold the hot water. This works unless the horse doesn't like it or keeps lifting its foot. These horses have been very cooperative thus far.
The 2010 syrup crop is about sold out, but in two months there will be a new batch of the maple sweet! We also made about 14 lbs. of granulated maple sugar this winter. This used approx. 3.5 gallons of fancy syrup.
Saw a flock of Snow Buntings yesterday in the old corn field. They were feeding on bugs and pieces of grain in the spread manure.

Have been helping neighbors with firewood and have played the bagpipes at several funerals.
Peter
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I went to Grantham NH and worked with a friend taking apart a very old post and beam house. He will move it to S> Randolph, Vt. We took out all windows, doors, floors and bagged 70 contractor bags with the blown in cellulose that was in the walls and ceiling. The man that lived there until 5 years ago was 92 when he died.
The beams in the house are supposed to be chestnut. Some of the boards used for the wainscotting in the parlor were 26 " wide! Others in the floors were from 10" to 22" wide, pine.
Quite a well made house. Trim was put in very carefully and tightly.



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