Saturday was wonderful. Cold. But wonderful. Every year, only 30 minutes from our homestead is a sugar bush (a forest of sugar maple trees that are tapped to make maple syrup) and they have a festival to celebrate. We went two years ago when we first got here (do you remember this post?) and learned a few things. 1. It is a mudfest. We lost a few pairs of shoes the last time and the boys boots were so caked in mud that I nearly tossed them, so rubber boots for everyone! 2. Arrive early or you will have to park in the way back which is pure mud so you will have to get pulled out by the tractor. 3. Don’t bother feeding the kids breakfast, this festival has a great pancake breakfast which fills bellies.
The sun, the creek and rushing water. It was all so therapeutic. Just what this momma needed and we all do love this festival. Part of living simple is doing things a bit the hard way sometimes. Its always a good reminder that the “hard” way is nothing compared to what those who went before us had to do daily to survive. My arms were a bit sore yesterday from the log sawing and I was glad to let Nick take over halfway knowing that I still had lots of work waiting for me at home. We are in the middle of our own tapping season and have 20 trees tapped but more on that after we get it all boiled down. Mateo did not mind the mud one bit and I did my best to keep that little boy out of it and clean. He spent most of the day on my back which truly I treasure every minute. He is getting to the point of no more baby wearing and it hurts me to think about it. Luckily, he loves it as much as I do.
So much to do all day, there was ax throwing, hay mazes, old fashioned maple syrup demonstrations and so much to see. We got to learn how to make maple sugar from syrup and were able to try it which made my little ones very excited. The little boys favorite part was the hay ride to the festival from the parking lot and the hayride back to the car. I was beyond relieved that unlike last time, I did not get our huge van stuck in the mud but of course the little boys had all hoped we would need to be pulled out again…perspective.
We rounded out the day by returning home and checking all the taps in our woods and collecting it all as we do everyday right now. On average we are getting about 12 quarts of sap per day. I did tap very late in the season so we did miss the best time for sap but we have been happy to get what we have and boiling day is almost upon us.
Having this blog is such a blessing to me and I hope to you also. Today I got to read the post from the last time we went to this festival and seeing how much smaller my kids were then was just so bittersweet and so special.