This Week at the Farm: Maple Month
Can you believe it’s already March? Winter is nearly over, and we’re now only 8 weeks away from Opening Day (April 27th). The farmstand will have new hours this year – we’ll open at 9 every day!
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves by wishing away the month of March… it’s an exciting time of the year here in Vermont.
MARCH IS FOR MAPLE
Sugaring season is nearly here! Sugarhouses across the state come to life in March when the days are warmer and the sap starts flowing. This is all dependent on weather, of course. Once daytime temperatures are consistently in the 40s, Nic will start tapping our maple trees and making syrup in Cook’s Sugar Place across the road from the farmstand.
Long before European settlers put down roots in the region, the Abenaki Tribe produced maple syrup by using hot stones to boil down the sap. A centuries-old Abenaki legend passed down through generations tells a story of its people drinking sap straight from maple tree branches and reminds us to appreciate the work that goes into making syrup.
Today, Vermont is the number one producer in the United States and its syrup is arguably the best in the world. That’s why it’s Vermont Harvest of the Month. While it’s often used in sweeter desserts and treats, maple syrup is also delicious highlighted in a main dish or side. Try this recipe for Maple and Mustard Root Vegetables (make sure you look at the home version of the recipe!). It’s a nice twist on winter root vegetables at the end of a long winter.
EAT WITH THE SEASONS
Vermont, especially the Upper Valley, is for food lovers. We’re fortunate to be able to connect to the land and our farmers, to truly appreciate where our food comes from and how it was produced. We can eat with the seasons, all while supporting local producers. Commit to eating local this year by joining our CSA – a debit-style card that gives you the flexibility to buy what you like, when you want it.
KIDS LEARN ABOUT LOCAL FOOD & ECOSYSTEMS
At our Summer Day Camp, kids ages 6-11 learn to appreciate the local food and ecosystems of Vermont. You don’t want your kids to miss out on this opportunity – sign up before it’s too late!
Students ages 14 and older are invited to be junior counselors! Counselors are non-paying campers, and get to assist educators with running chores, activities, and lessons. This opportunity is perfect for excited, responsible, and mature young adults who enjoy working with elementary-aged children and are eager to grow as a leader and mentor.
Oh deer….It happens to the best of us. Adorable little Bambi creeps out every spring and fills up on the tender shoots and leaves of our favorite plants.
Even though we sell a number of perennials that are “deer resistant”, deer will eat anything if they are hungry enough. It can be helpful to use bird netting early in the spring, until more of the deer’s natural food source becomes available. Another good strategy is placing plants that deer are more attracted to closer to your home, while placing deer-resistant shrubs on the outskirts of your property.
Deer feel more comfortable when they have cover from predators. In general, try to keep dense areas trimmed and your landscape maintained. Most deer are also repelled by strong scented plants like lavender, catmint, garlic and chives. Try integrating some into your gardens – they’re can be a nice addition!