Spring in NH

Post date: Apr 29, 2015 11:40:57 AM

This was quite possibly the most grueling winter I can ever remember. There was gobs and gobs of snow, and the temperatures plummeted well below zero for extended periods of time. We burned much more wood this year. But all that cold and snow brought a nice sugaring season.

We do our boiling in cast iron pots over an open campfire. There are some obvious disadvantages - you need to tend the fire much more closely, and pray for non-windy days for boiling. But doing it over an open fire makes the syrup taste superior, giving it a pleasant smokey flavor. This is the way I like it.

After boiling and boiling and boiling some more, we got about 2.5 gallons of syrup. For most people who sugar in New England, that is not much. But for us, it is a pleasant way to spend time outside as a family. When we boil, we usually have hotdogs and eggs boiled in sap over the fire, and roasted peeps. Roasted peeps are a tasty spring alternative to roasted marshmallows.

All the sugaring has brought inspiration for some new felt. This piece was done as an example to guide students through the felting process in one of the classes I taught at the League of NH Craftsmen in Hanover, NH. It is much simpler than most landscapes I do, but it seemed the perfect way to show the earth slowly waking from its winter sleep.

Now, all the browns and whites and shadowy blues of winter are slowly giving way to the lushes greens of summer. Soon I will be able to take my five flats of seedlings outside to watch them magically grow into food for my table.