Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Update

Hello, Friends! Again, it's been too long between posts. But I have plenty to tell you! Pictured above is our sugaring arch, A.K.A. a 50 gallon steel drum with both ends cut out and a large notch cut out for placing the firewood. To date we have made about 16 quarts of yummy, lip smacking maple syrup! Things have gotten cold again, so the sap hasn't run since last week. I'm praying that we have a good run again before the season is over.

This year we have been blessed to share our sugaring operation with two families that are friends of ours. My  very dear friend, and fellow Vermonter, had no idea that maple sap was like water. Our other friends got to see the sap become syrup and and watch (and help!) us can it. It was truly a blessing to share this with others.

A couple of weeks ago my darling hubby bought me one of those green house kits that you can buy at the store. Ours isn't huge, but it is a "walk-in" size. It is currently residing in our dining room, all put together in front or our south facing picture window and holding my Roma tomato seedlings. I went into the green house to check on the seedlings' moisture and couldn't believe how incredibly warm it was in there! It's like I have an indoor green house and sauna! I still have many more seeds to start, like green peppers and herbs. Once it is warm enough outside, we'll be moving the green house outside.

I'm also looking to use one of our 4x4 raised beds as a cold frame to start some Swiss chard in as soon as I can get the soil in it warmed up. My daughter belongs to the school's gardening club and last September she brought home some rainbow chard for us to try. We loved it! So we bought some rainbow chard seeds from  a High Mowing Seed Company's fundraiser that her school was doing. I bought another variety of Swiss chard as well, so I'm hoping that it does well.

I've also made up my mind that this year I am going to stick to my guns and not buy any annual flowers to put in our planters. The only ones I will buy are marigolds to plant in the veggies beds for pest control. Instead of pansies and petunias, I'll plant basil varieties and other annual herbs in their place. I've not had any luck trying to start flowers from seed, but I do well with herbs. This seems like the most economical choice, and besides, herbs are beautiful, too!

Well, the kittens have been spayed and neutered, and are back to their sibling ways. We were a bit nervous that their bond had been severed, as every time Oreo looked at Miller she hissed and growled like a wild cat. It wasn't the happy reunion we were all hoping it would be. But after their operations and a few days of being quarantined, they are back to normal. Taking the occasional nap together, grooming each other and running at break neck speeds through the house after one another!

It's a snow day here, and Spring seems so very far away, yet I know it will be here soon! Maybe I'll go step inside my greenhouse/sauna for a quick pick me up before I get back to work. Have a wonderful day!

Many Blessings,

This post is linked to Joybilee Farm's Homestead Abundance Link Up!

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