Our working semester is already more than halfway over! Since the heavy mid-March snowfall, and hopefully the last of the frigid temperatures, we have not collected much more sap, but there is plenty to do!
Everyone was disappointed when our last sap boil resulted in some pretty nasty smelling liquid. After barely recovering from the exhaustion of the first boil, we started up on round two since the sap had been flowing nonstop. We began at 10 am and spent all day stoking the fire and chopping wood. At about 4 am, we finally came to the realization that the sap no longer tasted like sweet delight, but instead had a rather unpleasant odor. It was time to abandon ship and pour out the liquid gold our gracious sugarbush had provided. It was disappointing, but I think everyone was happy to go back to bed.
Now is the time to prepare for the arrival of the bees, continue to grow the oyster mushrooms, carve away wood for handcrafted utensils, and much much more. Even though it is a month away, we will also have to begin preparations for the open house! Non-Timber Forest Products, the class that runs the business, is very unique in that it allows each participating student to pursue their own forest product passion, while still learning a little about each of the other products we offer. Personally, I have enjoyed boiling sap immensely, but more than anything I am looking forward to keeping the bees. It is quite amazing to see how this type of project can highlight the unique passions and talents of so many individuals and pull them together to create something larger and really beautiful. Stay tuned for more information about the open house and wish us the best of luck! Spring is right around the corner!