Making Maple Syrup: Taking the Tour From Friends

Reader Contribution by Lisa Doucette
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If there’s one thing I would love to do but I can’t, it’s making maple syrup. We have no maple trees on our property, so it’s kinda hard to tap poplar trees. I don’t think it would have the same effect.

So since I love syrup season, whenever I find someone who does make it, I try and weasle an invitation out of them. It’s not hard to get an invite around here. People are more than happy to give you a tour of their sugar shack.

Since I work in the paint deparment and have a tendency to talk a lot, it doesn’t take long to find out who makes their own syrup. This year, I got an invitation to visit the Josette and David King sugar shack. 

Sunday morning I figured she was going to call me to tell me that the sap was running. It had been cold overnight and Sunday was a nice, warm, beautiful day. So Sunday we played hooky from church. We just had too much work to do. I know, I know, we’re Christians, we shouldn’t be working on a Sunday, but when you’ve worked all week including Saturday, you’ve got to do the house chores at one point. 

Josette called early in the morning, but we were able to get there late afternoon. “Red Green,” aka Dave, had lots of work that NEEDED to be done before Monday morning. So we finally got there. It was so nice. They even have a camp that they rent out to people there. They call it a camp, I call it a house. It’s really nice. I didn’t pictures and I should have. 

They have a small operation with 40 trees, but it’s nice. Josette even gave me a jar of syrup to take home. You get there and it smells like the cotton candy and candy apple vendors at the fairs. Ahhhh heaven … We stayed there for about an hour and then we had to leave to go to my parents’ house for supper. She was making glazed ham with blueberry pie and cottage pudding for dessert. Yum! We couldn’t miss that. 

I’ve started my tomato seeds. Last year I had excellent luck with them, so I’m trying it again this year. 

We are awaiting the arrival of our newest addition to the farm. There’s a big dairy farm about 45 minutes away, so needless to say they have a lot of boy calves they don’t want. So they sell them cheap. They had four or five cows ready to deliver this weekend, so we had first pick the minute a boy was born. Guess what … It was all heifers! That’s our luck. Dave had been busy Sunday morning building a stall for him. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to handle this one. I have a hard time eating Gus, and we only had him a few months. This one we will be bottle feeding. It’s only going to be 3 days old. I even have a name for him already. Otis. This is not starting very well. I know … never name the animals that you’re going to eat. But geez, it’s hard. 

We slaughtered the 2 pigs from Charlotte’s first batch of piglets. They were called Caramel and Snickers. The three before that had better names … Bar, Bee and Que. 

Mud, mud, mud and more mud. Dave borrowed his dad’s truck and went to the valley for feed. He backed up to the barn and kinda got stuck. 

We got the answer from the insurance company and we are not happy campers. They’re writing off the car. And they are giving us about half of what the car is worth. Not good. We paid almost $8000 for this car 2 years ago. They say that there’s $3500 damage to the car and the car is only worth $3300! Not happy at all. We counter offered, so now we are awaiting their answer.

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