Monday, February 19, 2024

Harvest Monday - 19 February 2024

As we have done for so many years now, we tapped two of our sugar maple trees to make pure, natural maple syrup. This year we started earlier than ever before, utilizing a warming trend that started Feb. 6. Ideal conditions are when the days are above 40 F. and nights below freezing. We had a good 6 day run before it cooled off again.

For those interested, I'm linking to posts about our small-scale production here and here.

We netted over a quart of product.

Pure maple syrup

 The result is a uncharacteristic yellowish color, and very thick and rich. This was a happy (but messy) accident, as it boiled over during the final production inside on the stove (my fault). Note the cute syrup dispenser like you find in diners. We bought it at a country store in Vermont last fall, and I love it.

One quart is half of what we typically make, but we really didn't need to make any more, having some sealted jars left in storage from last year. But this reflects what will prove to be a theme with us this year. We have decided to drastically scale back much of what we grow and produce. We find we can't get through what we've gotten, and we are out of storage space. It's fun to give stuff away, but is it really worth the work?

One example: I typically grow 16 indeterminate tomatoes. This year, I'm only planning on 4, and none will be of the sauce variety. Another example: I'm growing no super-hot peppers. I love to make hot sauce, but again, we have so much, even after giving away 50 or so bottles.

And here's an (illustrated) example. I started the first batch of seeds at the end of January. Normally I'd grow 3 flats of alliums, but this year, only one.

Onion seedlings

So this year will be interesting, and hopefully not as much work. I do hope I don't regret this. I'll keep you posted as it progresses, but for now, there won't be much to write about until spring. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to Dave at for hosting Harvest Monday.


  1. I love real maple syrup but it takes me a while to get through a quart! There's nothing like the real thing either. As you know I have been cutting back my growing for several years now, both for over-producing and because I am getting older. I have found you can always tweak the amounts you grow from year to year, which is what I am doing going forward.

  2. I concur with your scaling back. It is nice to share our harvests but a touch of realism is needed. Look forward to your spring posts.