37 posts categorized "Maple Sugaring"

30-day challenge

For the month of May I started a 30-day 30-minute walking challenge.  I sometimes take photos of something on my walk, this was from the other day before we got snow.  This was from down the lane where we took the path into the pine trees.  The temps were pretty nice making such a wonderful walk/hike.


But, 4 days later we had this.  I put a ruler into the snow, and it measured 6 inches, some areas got in the upwards of 12 inches.


Despite the snow that didn't stop me from walking.  By the time I walked the snow was starting to melt and of course the mud came back.


The temps are still not the greatest windy and cold, and at times I have a hard time believing that spring is here, at least I hope we get a spring.

Sugaring season is over and everything has been cleaned up and put away, Jim has been cutting up trees that have come down and felling trees that need to come down getting our wood supply built up for next winter.  In our sugaring season we ended up with 12 batches of  syrup.  You never know how much syrup you get with a batch, some years we boiled close to 18 batches of syrup.  This year we cut back on the amount of taps we put in, and I kept out a bottle from each batch to compare the color of the syrup.  The colors were almost identical but with each batch the flavor got just a bit bolder, not too bold though, or as bold as what we call cooking syrup so dark that you can't see through it.


Busy spring so far but it seems to be slowing down some now that sugaring is over.  It's raining today so I'll try and get a walk in between the drops :) Trying to walk 30 days in a row can be a bit challenging and the few days I've missed I make it up with extra minutes on another day.  So far it's been a fun challenge.

first batch of the season





Golden bottle



The first batch of syrup for the season is bottled.  It seems like we got a later start this season, but the syrup looks pretty good, it's not often we get the golden mild flavor.

Miss Suuvi loves it outdoors and the snow.  Not really sure what she's looking or listening for, only she knows.  I tried being sneaky taking her photo, but of course her hearing is pretty sharp, and she turned around to head my way. 

We got another snowstorm on Thursday, and it snowed another 3 inches last night.  Maybe this will be our sugar snow.

sugaring season 2023 begins





Sugaring season is going to be so different this year.  We did not hang the buckets we usually use; we went with plastic bags this year.  Jim says it's so much easier emptying the bags.  Our dog Suuvi does good out in the sugar bush and follows the UTV around, it seems like when it stops, she stops and when it goes, she goes, she will meander away but so far really hasn't ventured too far. We missed having a dog come out and sugar with us and despite her small quirk I talked about in a previous post, she does very well. 

It's nice having a four-legged companion again.

life on the homestead







So much has been happening here on the homestead.  We are putting up fence and we got a new puppy, an Australian shepherd who we named Suuvi which means, child of the summer.  So far, she's been a good puppy, but as you well know if you have ever owned a puppy, they are a lot of work.  But she's been a joy to have, the cats can't seem to figure her out yet and have been chased up the fence posts a time or two.

It has been very windy here on the ridge lately, and it has not been very warm either.  Seeds are started and I don't usually grow sweet potatoes, but I had bought some from an Amish stand last fall, I was about to throw the last few out and found that they were sprouting leaves.  So, I started some sweet potato slips.  We'll see how they do for me and how they grow, we have never grown sweet potato before, this is our first time trying.

Syrup season started off very slow, and boiling the sap was so different from years past.  We did end up with enough syrup which I use in cooking and baking in place of sugar.

That pretty much says all what we have been up to in 2022, it doesn't sound like much but with that and other things we have definitely been keeping busy.  Winter for me just has been very long, especially when the temps are just staying cooler than I would like and it's almost May and what's the old saying...April showers bring May flowers.  Let's hope that holds true :)

red sky warning


Sitting this morning enjoying a cup of coffee, I looked up and saw the reflection of the sunrise in the window.  Standing out on the front porch to take the photo I heard our rooster doing his early morning crowing, it was the most pleasant sound to hear while looking at the sunrise. Have you ever heard the saying, red sky in the morning, sailors warning? Well we got snow that started after the noon hour, and when it started the winds came as well. My trips to the chicken coop were pretty cold fighting the wind...brrr.

Sugaring season has been different this year.  The one thing Jim noticed was that the ground didn’t seem to be as frozen as it usually is at this time of year.  We did have quite a bit of snow on the ground in the sugar bush during our below zero cold streak which lasted about 12 days. We are thinking that the snow may have insulated the ground from freezing.  We have been making maple syrup for 11 seasons now and we can never predict how the season will go. Hopefully the snow we got is what we call sugar snow which should reset the sap run. I’m definitely crossing my fingers for that to happen. 

hunkering down






How are you all doing? Sugaring is in full force up here on the ridge in Southwest Wisconsin, we are also now hunkering down now that the Coronavirus has made it's appearance here in the United States.  We are well stocked here and just planning to stay put for awhile.  Nope we didn't go crazy with the toilet paper, we are good on that. 

You could almost say this was mud season as well as sugaring season (LOL) but last night we got some snow after most if not all of our snow had melted, not sure if we can call it a sugar snow.  We have gotten some really good syrup so far though and we are quite happy about that.

St Patrick's day came and since the bars and restaurants in Wisconsin are closed and only doing take out (by the way we don't have too many restaurants to choose from near us anyway) so I decided to make corned beef and cabbage at home instead of not doing it.

I hope you all are staying home and healthy.  It seems our lives for what we once knew may be forever changed.

spring is in the air

It's a few days into March already and spring seems like it's just around the corner.  I'm sure though we'll be getting another snowstorm at some point before winter decides to make it's departure here in Southwest Wisconsin.


Are you a tea drinker? I only started drinking coffee about 15+ years ago and did not drink tea, that is until I had a cup over at a friends cabin in upper Wisconsin, and I have been hooked. I'm not a fan of just straight black tea or green tea.  I love the one that we've been drinking in the evening. It is a bit more spendy but seeing that we only drink one cup in the evening I figure I deserve that pleasure.



Oh my goodness, I am totally in love with the whole sourdough baking process.  I have finally started to master sourdough baking.  I don't use any commercial flour in my bread recipe, we grind our own flour, which has actually taken me a while to figure out.  The bread I made the other day I used half fresh ground rye and half fresh ground wheat, with the sourdough starter.  Both breads turned out absolutely beautiful and delicious.


Sugaring season is upon us and it's going to be the first time without our Sadie running around the sugar bush, or trying to drink up the sap that is running over the side before it hits the ground as Jim is pouring it into the tank we use to gather the sap.  Sadie loved this time of year as well as the snow, she was a good companion out in the bush.  Especially like tonight when the sun is going down, and darkness has crept up on us, and hearing the coyotes in the distance, I definitely feel the void with her gone.  We sure do miss our Sadie girl.  Despite missing Sadie it feels really good to be sugaring again.  It feels so good to smell the air after being cooped up in the house during the cold winter days that sometimes prevented us from venturing outdoors, at least preventing me from getting outside as much as I'd have liked to.

a lot of coffee and syrup

We had another busy weekend with the kids here to help make syrup.  A lot of coffee was consumed during the sugaring process...lol!  











We had a huge success with not only the amount of syrup we bottled, but the quality of the syrup we bottled.

Not sure how much more boiling we’ll do as we have quite a bit of syrup bottled this season, we just never know how a season will go.  

another good day

So far we have bottled 2.75 gallons of syrup and it’s all been of the golden grade, very light in color and taste...YUM!!


Instead of finishing off in the house all the time we have set up a spot to finish off outside on our back deck.  Mr checking to see if we have syrup.


Here we are filtering the syrup, you can see the sugar sand down in the filter bag.  We had a great hot boil today, so not sure why we got sugar sand this is definitely a first for us.


It’s been a slow start to our sugaring season this year.  I meant to take my camera out to the sugar bush this evening when we gathered to get some photos, but there’s always tomorrow for that.  More company coming this weekend for sugaring, so it’s going to be another busy time for us. 

it’s that time of year



Sugaring is here, well almost here, the sap is running slowly. I love this time of year as it’s the really sure sign that spring is just around the corner.  It’s also that time of year to start to pull out the seed catalogs and plan what will be in the garden and what seeds I will start in the house.  My favorite season is fall/autumn, but I’m really coming to love spring.