Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patricks Day at Grand View Farm

 What a crazy winter we are having this year! March 17th when we are usually buried in snow, we are enjoying an early spring! The crocus' are out and so are the...


Our birthday boy, Mr. St. Patrick himself with the bees, we had to add this one just for the record books! It was in the 70's and is predicted to be the same all week!  Instead of making maple syrup today, it looks like we are making honey!

And what were the bees in such a "buzz" about so early in the season? 

The silver maples had just blossomed! This huge tree is just in front of the hives, as soon as you got close to it you actually could hear it buzzing! It was an amazing sound!!! Something we have never witnessed before!

The high tunnels got a dose manure and soil amendments today too. They are now ready for spring planting!

Sugaring Season!

This is our first year making maple syrup to sell! Last year we had about 25 taps and this year we have about 150!  We streamlined the operation by using tubing and tanks and it has made a big difference! 
Here are some pics of the process:

Tubing going up.

Monitoring the mainline...

The first taps going in! We taped on February 13th this year! Amazingly early for NH, it was sooooo warm we couldn't pass up the early sap run. It has been a very warm season and unfortunately makes it a short one too!

We also put up some buckets, sugaring is not the same without those metal buckets hanging on the trees!

The first drop!

Here is a photo of last years "sugar house" and "evaporator"...

 ... and here is this years "sugar house"... yes we are moving up in the world... still not a real sugar house but better than last year!!!

 This years evaporator has improved too! We purchased this one on Craigs List from a man who moving south and was selling all his supplies.

 A couple of photo's of our set up, sap is pumped from a holding tank outside into this pre-heating pot. Then the sap makes it's way through the copper tubing and into the pan. By the time it gets there it is steaming hot and prevents us from losing the boil in the pan.

Our sugar tent house filled with steam!

 Checking the temp!

You can really see the difference of color in the sap here. The sap on the left almost done!

The first syrup going into the jars!

We love these glass jugs! They will be for sale in our farm stand this summer or you can contact us using the "for sale" page to purchase them before we open.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Joanies Refrigerator Pickles

We really enjoyed these pickles over the summer and even still have some in the fridge! 

Joanies Refrigerator Pickles

5 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar
1/3 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. tumeric

Fill a 1 gallon jar 3/4 with thinly sliced cucumbers and 1/4 with thinly sliced onion alternating each and packing them in tightly. We have also used 4 quart jars instead and it worked just fine. In a large pot combine the rest of the ingredients and warm slightly until the sugar is dissolved. Fill each jar with the liquid mixture, cover and place in the fridge. They will be ready in 1 week but will last a LONG time if you have room to store them in your fridge.

***Note: We have also made this recipe without onions for those picky eaters.