What’s Happening on Earl’s Acres

Winter Lingers at Earl's AcresSpring is on it’s way, we know… Yet winter lingers on here at Earl’s Acres.  However, we haven’t let the remaining snow slow us down!  We’ve been busy getting this place ready for warmer weather, and having fun getting things done!

Living out here is continuously wonderful, and it seems to just get better by the minute.  We have only been here since May, but it’s amazing to me how much we can do living on such a small plot of land.  We’re lucky to have almost only sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) lining our entire property, so as soon as the time was right, we got to work tapping maple trees and boiling down sap.  It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup (that’s a LOT of sap!!) but we’ve produced about 1/2 gallon with much more to come! (And it’s so, so, so good!!)

Maple Sugaring

We’ve also decided to majorly expand our garden this year, and getting a head start on seedlings is crucial.  We’ve had our onions going since the beginning of March, and we’ve planted tomatoes and peppers each weekend to ensure that we have a running stock throughout the summer.  We decided to make our own plant pots out of newspaper, making it simple to transplant all these little guys into the soil when the time comes!  There’s about 1 million different ways to do this, but we did something like this.  We did various sizes using anything cylindrical we could find around the house.  Then we put everything into the small, standing greenhouse to let them take off for spring!

Garden Preparation

Woah…. Did I say that we’ve been really busy out here!  We ordered a nucleus of bees, too!  And, of course, the bees will need a home when they arrive!  Thus, we’ve been super busy building bee boxes and frames in the barn.  The day we built them, it was about 30F outside and ice raining… This was probably the least fun project that we’ve had yet.  But now they just need to be painted and they’re ready to go!

Bee Boxes

And what would compliment bees any more than chickens?!  Bees have a super interesting life cycle, and when it is time for them to die, they will intentionally leave the hive rather than dying inside the hive. Chickens love to eat these dead bees. They also eat live bugs and small hive beetles that can cause harm to the honeybees. This is great for the bee hive, and it also provides wonderful nutrition for the chickens.  We plan to place our bee hives inside of the chicken fence to provide the chickens with a delicious source of supplemental food.  The chicks have been a delight to have around the house.  They’re chirps and coos are absolutely wonderful!  Names: Buttercup, Pickle, Shakuntala, Xerces, Ruth, and Scáthach.

Chick BroodingAnd now you can see why I haven’t had much time to post  new recipes lately!!  I’d love to say that I’ll try to get some new recipes up soon, but we’re having way too much fun getting ready for spring… it might be a while!

Next up… Building the chicken coop!

Happy Spring!

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