Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Last Syrup and Spring Cleaning

It was really weird boiling sap in such warm weather. This was the first really spring-like day we have had. Look at all the bare ground! Melting happens fast.. 

The suddenly warmer temperatures will bring to an end the maple sugar season.  I guess I am about ready to be done... and I am running out of scrap wood to burn anyway.
so this will be the last boiling of sap for this year. There is alot of it though... maybe another 85-90 gallons to get through. I started the boil early this morning (its 11:30 pm as I write this) and I figure I still have several hours to go before I can call it quits for tonight.  But tomòrrow is forecast to have rain, so I just need to get this done now.
[note:  I ended up working out there till about 4:30am, and more or less just quit.. there is still sap. But I am done, I think... Not sure what the total syrup quantity will be, I am right  now working on finishing this last batch over the stove where I can control temperatures better]

The girls were definitely enjoying the warm sunshine. Here they are enjoying a sunbath.

While I tended the evaporator, I decided this was a  great day for spring cleaning in the chicken coop.  I forked out all the semi-clean straw on top of the deep bedding and set it aside for mulch in the garden.  The middle layer of bedding that was soiled, but not really composted, i shoveled out and put on the compost pile.  The rest of it got spread out in the garden area. Then I scraped and swept,  and got everything looking nice and clean.  Since the hens dont spend much time in the coop now that the weather is getting warmer and the snow is (finally) melting, I only laid down some clean pine shavings on the floor.
After sweeping up all the cobwebs up in the rafters, and putting down the new bedding, the coop smells clean and fresh.

Nice and  Clean! What? You don't have a spiffy Art Deco floor in YOUR chicken coop?
(Maybe a little too clean, as the hens and the chicks were afraid to go inside at dusk and I had to chase them all down and put them in there one by one. )

if weather allows tomorrow, I need to do the same thing with the duck pen.  And  I will be finishing the syrup and bottling it.  I think we will end up with about 4 and a half gallons.....Whew!

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