In February Daniel and Levon attended a Winter Farmer’s Workshop sponsored by the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain. The workshop focused on what farmers can do to minimize the impact to our waterways when they plant crops. The daylong workshop was held in St. Albans, VT, and was attended by over 100 farmers.
The 34th Annual Islands Ice Fishing Derby was held on Lake Champlain in early February. This is a favorite weekend for a little recreation before the maple trees start producing sap. Even though team Carman Brook Farm didn’t catch the trophy fish, but a good time was had by all.
We started tapping the trees in the middle of the month and there was a good amount of snow in the woods with a good crust. Many lines were under the crust from a late ice storm in January. It took some digging to get these lines above the crust line so they would thaw and let the sap flow.
The new maple grading system had been released earlier and we ordered our new grade stickers. We’re pleased that the new grades allow for flavor as well as color in the description to the consumer. Also, market descriptors are allowed to tell the consumer something about our syrup that we’d like you to know. Be sure to read all about it in our Farm Fresh News.
The sap started to run by February 22nd but we still had ice damage from January to repair on the roof of the sugarhouse. Ice slid into the steam stack and crushed it, so the boys got up on the roof and replaced the stack and roof jack.
We started boiling sap and made a little syrup before March Town Meeting Day.