Saturday we went to Vermont to have our car service....after which, we drove further north and visited our maple syrup supplier at Sugar Mill Farm, to pick up some syrup and see them boilin’ sap. John & Michelle were busy as bees making the sap into wonderful, tasty syrup and Steve took a few minutes to give us the guided tour of the operation. It’s great being able to visit our suppliers, getting to know them personally and witness the actual process of producing the product we represent and sell. John and Michelle are great, hard working farmers; truly excellent representatives of the “Pride of New York” program, which we are also striving to be.
The evaporator in operation...Much more complicated than it appears...
The fuel supply for the evaporator....
A night picture of the sparks exiting the stack of the sugar Shack......
Another view of the night time fireworks display during "sugarin'."
Bill always collects a load of stuff for me to sell on eBay to put toward farm expenses or the hospice program and now he is gathering really nice stuff for in the hospice gift shop. He loves doing charity work and participates in all kinds of foundation work, like the Lustgarten Foundation, which is striving to cure pancreatic cancer (which is father succumbed to) or anything that has to do with cancer and many, many other causes. Bill, Loraine & Andrew do walk-a-thon's and Bill is involved The Civilian Homeland Security during natural disasters, etc.
They usually come up during President's Day and then later in the summer for a weekend, but that didn’t happened this past year due to a stringent work schedule for all three of them.
Well, I see spring is almost here! All morning long I've heard the wild geese returning.....honking as they fly by. As soon as the ice goes on our pond, we'll have from 10 to 25 wild geese here all day long, with a few couples popping up with young ones. The ones without young will drift in and out, some days not showing at all, but the couples with young, will be here until they are grown and fly away. Sometimes I have to chase them out of the barn, as they are in there eating the chicken and duck food, which is odd, you know.....them going into an enclosure with their goslings.
Vick is going to do the curtains in the gift shop today... because they needed shortened a bit. Dawna is coming to learn how to build her web site for her felting art this afternoon. I'll teach her how to create a site and get her on line, which can be rather tricky. Linda is coming this morning to clean the chicken house and barn. I wish her good luck since the barn is an ACTUAL 4" Poo and Mud Slurry!! You can’t shovel it up; it's like watery crème of wheat......literally. It wouldn't stay on a shovel and would be exactly like shoveling water. I don't exactly know how to get it out of there, but it has to come out and then chipper dust (stone) put in, to bring the level of the floor back up, so it is 2 inches above the outside ground height. That way, water flows around and away from the barn, rather than into it. The kid that was here last summer, (early) wasn’t so bright, doing way too much work digging. He dug down so deep while removing chicken poo, that he made the floor of the barn into a water bowl....a bowl which is now full!
We’ll post a few pictures of the inside of the gift shop when Vick gets the curtains up. We placed the cabinet and set the counter top on and began setting up the computer system last evening. It's going to look so great when it's actually finished.
Tip Top Furniture, our neighbor down the road is giving us a fantastic deal on the carpet for inside.....and wants to help promote us by placing a piece of art for Hospice in their store and sending influential people to us. The hospice people are now starting to come out of the woodwork and are promoting the gift shop and will be running newspaper ads and such, telling everyone about us.
Later this summer, after I enlarge the sheep & alpaca stalls in the barn, we’ll build a farm store as part of the barn and place the refrigerator in it, stock it with eggs, cheeses, beef, chicken and turkey. We'll also offer stocks of honey, maple syrup and jams, along with all the raw, processed and finished fibers, yarns, some of Vick's farm art and my book about how Vick and I met, got together and built the farm and kept expanding to the present little farm village we now have.
We’ll also be able to fill the truck more easily on Saturday mornings to attend the farmers market in town. The egg stand will still house merchandise, as it presently does, affording a 24/7 service to our local customers, with the farm store actually having operational hours during the week and weekends.
Well, I guess I better get moving.....I'm already an hour late. You might be able to change the clock at 2:00AM, but you don't change the farmer....He usually gets up at 6:00AM... well today it was actually 7:00 Am!! That will change tomorrow morning, because until the end of the day, I'll be caught up and on DST.
038188 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC