March 28th, 2019
The month of March may be my favorite month. Our sunlight is returning and sprinkled in with the cold days are a few warm ones, a reminder we are not far from green grass and spring flowers. March is the month when our greenhouse production returns in earnest, when on a sunny day we can enter one of our houses and be engulfed in warm fragrant air, heavy with the sent of vibrant healthy earth. Our greenhouses are very much alive in March, all the little plants we stuck in the ground on a cold February day are finally taking off,. They are establishing a tiny foothold, staking their claim to a little patch of ground and stretching their chloroform rich limbs upward towards the ever strengthening sun. On these sunny warm mornings in March, I am extra anxious to get outside. With coffee cup in hand, Joy and I make our morning rounds. To the greenhouse to uncover plants and turn off heaters, then to the chicken coop to check on our birds. Our chickens take on new life as well, their feathers begin to renew and take on a healthy sheen. Egg production, which has lagged during the winter months, begins to increase as well. After our morning rounds, we retreat back to the office. This time of year is also about making lists and checking off projects. List making has taken on new importance this year as Joy joins the farm in a more full time capacity. I have always been more inclined to work on whatever project seems the most important at the time. Admittedly though, this isn’t the best way to go about things. So now we make lists, and honestly it is satisfying to check off the projects as they are completed. Each day is a new day and with the new day comes a new list. March is also the month we make maple syrup. There is nothing more satisfying then sitting in the quiet of the woods, the only sounds are the occasional hoot of a distant Owl and the hissing of a gently boiling sap pan. Boiling maple syrup is an escape, a chance to hide in the forest far from the homestead. It is a time to practice the age old tradition of extracting a small amount of the maple trees’ liquid goodness and converting it into what has become our main source of sweetness. We will use this syrup in all things sweet in the farmhouse kitchen. Though we don’t have a big sweet tooth in this family, it is a staple in our morning coffee and a welcome addition as a topping on ice cream. Yeah! March!