The full moon of March is sometimes called the Worm Moon, marking the end of winter and new beginnings as the earth begins to warm up and creatures stir. So, it seems an appropriate time to begin a newsletter.
A few of you have noticed the sign-up message on my blog, so thank you for being my first subscribers. I’m posting this first newsletter as a sample of what I hope to be a bi-monthly letter. I’ll be including snippets of farm news, tips, recipes, and other tidbits. If you would like to receive the newsletter by email then sign up here.
Another name for the March moon, one that I much prefer, is Sugar Sap Moon, signifying mother nature’s gift to feed us even in the depths of winter. Robin Wall Kimmerer devotes a chapter to the story of maple syrup in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass. As a Citizen of the Potawatomi Nation, she combines indigenous teachings, that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers, with her knowledge as a botanist. Her description of the Maple Sugar Moon is a beautiful memoir, interwoven with the stories of her people and a scientific explanation of the maple tree’s inner world.
I particularly like her story of Anishinaabe, our original teacher, who finds the village with neglected gardens and fishing nets not mended. Instead, he sees the people lying back, drinking sap directly from the maple trees. The people had become lazy and so Anishinaabe went to the river and collected water in buckets. He poured the water directly into the maple trees to dilute the sap. Today the maple sap runs like a stream of water with only a trace of sweetness to remind us of possibility and responsibility. And so it is that it takes 40 gallons to make a gallon of syrup.
The maple sap has been running here, these last few weeks, and we’ve been making syrup. Boiling maple sap was a new experience for us when we first moved to our little farm and I wrote about it here.
Call it what you may, worm moon or sap moon, animals are definitely coming out of hibernation and a myriad of animal trails make intriguing patterns in the snow each morning. This time of year is perfect for working in the woods; cool temperatures, firm snow, blue skies and no black flies!
We have been putting our Iron Horse to work bringing firewood out of our woodlot and I put together a short video to show the beast at work.
Not sure what an Iron Horse is? Read my post here.
Of course, winter isn’t totally over. In between the blue skies and pleasant sunshine, we’ve also had days where the jaw numbing wind has made my fingers ache and the chores seem harder work than they should.
You Tube is a great distraction from the temperatures outside and we recently enjoyed this documentary by Peter Owen Jones on How to Live a Simple Life, where he tries to live without money.
I also stumbled on this lovely blog. I don’t know Sherrie, but she writes beautiful posts, and the photos are just incredible.
Finally, I can’t leave without showing you the Windsor bench that John has just finished building for a customer in Toronto. It’s beautiful and I’d love to share this photo with you. I think you’ll agree that it’s pretty amazing.
If you’re interested to know more about John’s Windsor Chairs, visit his website.
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