Sometimes the season of hope can feel like the season of too much to do. When the days start to warm, and the snow is all gone, ideas conceived over a warm cup of coffee can seem daunting, when the real work begins. One of the first signs of true spring here is the end of sugaring season. Gone are the days of boiling and collecting. And now it is time for cleaning and storing. It is so important to store your equipment properly. If you don’t, you will have twice as much work to do next season.
Not only is it the season for cleaning but also the season of bottling and selling syrup. This is when you truly get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
We use the money we make to offset our cost of making the syrup. In the end, it is a labor of love. And we love to hear how much people love our syrup. It is a special feeling to know that it goes as far west as CA and as far south as NC, we are still holding out for a Florida customer. This year we even have a bit left to sell on our website. Maybe we will get a Hawaii customer.
Before the buds break and planting begins, we get to participate in one of our favorite activities. Trout fishing opens on April 1st and Luke and I hit the water to bring home some fresh protein for the family. Even on the coldest of days, a huge trout will warm your heart, and provide a story for a lifetime.
For myself the time spent with my family is even more valuable than the fish itself. The bonds we make fishing can never be broken, and the happiness we feel while holding a fish is pure. It is a true escape from the rigors of everyday life.
Planting begins with peas and potatoes. It feels so good to get our hands dirty again. Even if it is cold soil.
The projects that simply must get done start to take shape. What was once an idea or a drawing on a scrap piece of paper, now becomes reality.
This is the time that tests your patience. In your mind there are no huge rocks in the way or weeks of rain. In your mind it is a simple job, a piece of cake, but we all know it never goes as planned. This is the one area of homesteading where I struggle. But as long as I keep my head down and keep working, and my family doesn’t leave me for losing my temper, I know it will be completed.
So many think of homesteading as a zen pursuit, to live in harmony with nature. In reality it is a constant battle. Farm animals have a mind of their own, and so do predators and the weather. Maybe when I reach the tenth level of homesteading I will be granted the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, but until then I have beer.
After a few of those beers it’s time for the best part of spring. Firing up the old grill and enjoying a nice steak.
So make sure you take the time this spring to fish, grill, or even drink a beer. Heck if you drink it on the riding mower you are still working right. Happy Spring everyone.