Birch Taps and Snow Chickens

Well, the baby has arrived – so let the Spring projects begin!

We’re tapping birch trees again this April – but only three trees this time after last year’s overabundance ended with us giving away the majority of our sap. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll do with the sap this year (at some point I’d love to try making wine but I’m not sure fermentation is in the cards for 2014…). We tend to drink most of it as straight sap (it’s so good for you!) but it’s always nice to try new projects (and doesn’t birch wine sound great?!)

hole drill

metal tap

birch tap up close

The process for tapping birch trees is so wonderfully easy and low-key; drill a hole, insert a tap, hang a bucket and then sit back and wait for the sap to flow. We’ve been checking the buckets every couple of days – any day now the sap should start flowing! Sabine came with us to check the sap recently…

boo and birch taps

It’s been warm enough here (in the 50’s!) that we’ve been letting our chickens out during the day. They’re pretty cute in the snow.

chickens in snow

As the snow slowly melts it seems like everything that has been hidden/forgotten/lost in the snow is slowly revealing itself to us (currently we’ve got about 30 tennis balls in various places in the yard which the dogs enjoy finding and losing daily). I’ve always really enjoyed this transitional time of year, spring and fall hold special places in my heart. With summer rapidly approaching (and all the accompanying summer projects) I’m enjoying this month of preparation and planning.

#1 project on my horizon? Painting the chicken coop and both sheds and re-painting the brooder house – I can’t wait to have a cheery red chicken coop and brooder house! We even bought the paint for this project last year but other things took priority. This whole winter I spent a lot of time staring at several unpainted structures thinking how nice they’d look painted against the snow (all those Tomten books had a serious effect on me). Look for me on a warm May weekend, listening to the radio or an Ani DiFranco cassette and painting away…

chicken run in snow

Cheers and Love,

Maple and Me

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