Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Friday I do farm jobs. This Friday, I spent most of the day starting seeds in seed flats and finishing up the syrup that I boiled down earlier in the week but didn’t get canned.

I ended up collecting about forty more gallons of Maple sap on Tuesday, so during the week, I boiled that down as well as the hundred gallons from Sunday. This morning, I canned up almost four gallons of syrup. It is not Frenchman’s Blonde. It is not even medium in color. It is really a dark amber. Usually the syrup is only this dark towards the end of the season.

I sent my husband off to school today to ask various children whose families also sugar if they also are getting such dark syrup from their sap runs. If I get a chance after sowing all the seeds, then I will go to a sugarhouse in town to ask for myself. I am trying to suss out if we are going to have an abbreviated sugaring season. No matter what happens, it’s okay for us. I will be happy even if this is the only sap we get this year, but I worry about people like my neighbors at the Taylor Brothers Sugarhouse. While they also dairy farm, a good sugaring season really makes their year. Liz Taylor used to work here back in the 90’s. Her eldest child, Jeff, is in Will’s fifth grade class. There are about a dozen Taylor Brothers Sugarhouse progeny for Jim to buttonhole at school for information, including Jeff.

I started a lot of seeds today. The Flowers for this year’s Venus Garden are mostly purple and I started two flats of those plants. Other Flowers including Osteospermum, Asters, Nicotiana, Ageratum, and Bells of Ireland were sown today too. Right now, I am doing the plants that like to be started about 8-10 weeks before our last frost. This is usually around June 1st.

I also started lots of herbs for the circular stone courtyard that leads into this building and the farmhouse. I hope to put many varieties of Thyme, Lavender, and other herbs and scented Flowers in this courtyard so everyone’s trek into the office or house is fragrant and sweet. The encircling rock wall is a bit of a heat sink. Well, that’s sort of a relative term here at the Arctic circle, but I do think the heat loving herbs will be happy in this spot. We certainly gravitate there on any even slightly warm spring day to eat our lunches and bask in the sunlight.

For the vegetable garden I started basil, parsley, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, and brussel sprouts. Per usual, the Angels have been playful in their selection of vegetable varieties. Among other things, we will be growing white, yellow, pink. purple, black, and red tomatoes and purple and orange cauliflower.

Like everywhere else, its St. Patrick’s Day today. I have covered my green shirt in soil mix. The last potatoes for eating are going into a New England boiled dinner tonight. All the rest of our potatoes we will plant. Our Irish cousins plant their potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. For us, potato planting is a ways off, but not that far off. Today, up to my elbows in seed mix, I knew that, and so did the dogs, who could hardly believe I was wasting their day out of the office by being inside.

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