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Syrup season updates

The sap is a runnin’! We’ve done several boils already and the first batch in particular came out absolutely beautiful – light and clear and sweet. OMG, yum!! Bring on the pancakes – hey Pioneer Woman, come on over and cook for me and I’ll share my syrup!

We got some new technology to “help” us determine when the syrup is done. Unfortunately we are not “tech” people, apparently, as the thermometers, refractometers, and hydrometers are mostly getting in the way. I must’ve calibrated the dumb thermometer wrong so the last batch got overcooked and now it’s all cloudy. It’ll be crystallizing soon, I guess, so I may have to cook it down into candy. Ergh! The refractometer didn’t come with the stupid calibration block, so it’s completely useless. Also, we tried it just for fun even though we knew it wasn’t quite accurate, and the reading changes as you stand there looking at it – in fact it changes A LOT. I just don’t get it (picture me shaking my head slowly in a sad and bewildered way).

Anyway, I’m going back to my tried and true old school methods for this weekends boil: Cook until I run out of Blue Nun. Done. Jar it fast before putting feet up and sending hubby for pizza. Now that’s how you make maple syrup.

BTW, several people have asked what we put in our syrup. Here’s the secret: NOTHING – IT’S MAPLE SYRUP! It’s nothing but tree sap cooked down until it turns into syrup – same way it’s been done forever.

Nature’s Candy…… Yum!!!!!!

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Farmer’s Market News

Ok, for anyone who’s looking for our Maple Syrup:

Sylva Pax Farms will be at the Harrison, OH farmers market on Sunday, May 19th and again in August (date to be determined).

Apparently, they’re only doing the 2 market days this year due to poor turnout in past seasons.

I’m not sure at this point where else we’ll be able to participate for this year, but stay tuned for info as we get closer to the growing season.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Chicken Slide!

Everyone likes to slide, right? Even chickens! We had a small ice storm last week and in the morning the ramp leading up to the chicken coop door was covered in a 1/4 inch sheet of ice. I couldn’t stand on it to unlatch the door so I got a shovel and reached up with it and got it opened. The hens were practically shoving each other in their hurry to be the first one out the door. What a shock they got when they went swooping and sliding down with wings a-flappin’ and legs a’scramblin! ROFLOL!!! What a sight! Even little Dingleberry was amazed – hee hee heeeeee…..

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The Replacement

The Replacement.

 

Hey Y’all, check out this video I made using Animoto.  It’s a book trailer for a YA book called The Replacement.  I’m teaching the teens at the library to make their own book trailers….   🙂

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

All right, you asked…

Well, gee whiz!  I didn’t realize the world was awaiting news from the chicken coop with bated breath……

OK, the good news is….   poor lonely rooster has now joined the rest of the group and is now Mr. Happy.  I didn’t feed them for a few days so then when I opened the door, instead of making a mad dash for the yard (I often have to duck so as not to be knocked out as they all fly out the door without so much as a “good morning” while whacking me in the face with their wings)…. anyway, they crowded around the feed trough and Little Miss Bossy pecked at me and ordered me to feed them RIGHT NOW.  Mr. Lonely was hungry too so he came in to eat and, voilá, I got him!  heh heh heh…..   I jumped out and closed the door fast before anyone could stop me!  I left them all closed up for a couple of days, and now when I let them all out in the yard, he goes nicely to bed with everyone else, safe in the coop like he’s supposed to.  Aaaah, all is well.

Sort of….

Lots of eggs are being laid properly in the nest boxes, BUT…..

They’re all brown.

What’s the problem, you ask?

I have Americanas (also called Araucanas) which lay blue eggs.  Where are my blue eggs?  Have they stopped laying for some reason?  Or are they hiding them somewhere around the yard?  It’s time for an Egg Hunt!  (Bet you thought those were only for Easter – but, no, we have them quite often around here.)

They might actually have stopped laying since our daylength is now under 12 hours, but they usually continue laying until the end of November so I’ll have to take a glass of wine (or two) and stroll the yard, looking casual, and secretly spying on the hens.  Woo hoo!

This is what Araucana/Americana eggs look like, though sometimes they’re more greenish or even pinkish

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Woe Is Me

Oh, I’m a sad, sad rooster out here all on my own.  My ladies are all in the coop snuggling with the other roosters.  I stand here at the door, but I can’t get in.  Oh, woe is me!  There’s a tray full of yummy scratch grains, fresh hay, happy willing women, and I’m out here in the cold all by my poor little lonesome.  This silly little dog is no help at all!  Every now and then the giant lady comes close and I run and hide so she won’t “get” me.  I’m not sure what would happen, but I’m not taking any chances even though she usually has food.  Heh, heh…   she’ll never catch me!  But I sure wish I could go in with the others……

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Hello world!

All right world, here I am!  My niece insisted that I write my stories of life out in the country with my DH, 5 dogs, 4 cats, and roughly 25 chickens (it changes depending on hawks, eagles, hatchings, butcherings, etc.)  Now, I’m not an author or an accomplished writer so don’t be expecting fabulous prose or anything but I’ll do what I can.  Here goes……

Ok, well here we don’t go actually because I’m at work and I’m just getting this blog set up, but I promise to get on here later tonight (after bonking DH on the head and stealing the laptop) and tell you the story of my crazy chickens who are trying to roost about 20 feet up in a pine tree.  Silly things, they think they can fly…..  

Later, Y’all……………

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized