Dateline: 29 March 2006
I think spring has finally come to central New York State. The sap is flowing and we are making maple syrup on our little back yard setup. I've come to realize that our 25 taps do not produce the sap flow that some folks get because our trees are not that old. A few don't give much at all. In any event, we've made 2-1/2 gallons of nice maple syrup so far and there is another gallon+ worth of sap boiling away in the evaporator pan now. When it's done, we pour it hot into pint canning jars and store it in the pantry.
Marlene has soap on her mind these days. She is making it to have for the farm market this summer. And there are a few retail outlets that she will be selling through too. Christina Fuller (KS Milkmaid) is learning to make soap and going through the typical heartache and discouragement that comes with learning the craft. But she will be a real professional at it one day soon! Practice makes perfect.
I had the pleasure of speaking with KS last night when she called to talk with Marlene and I answered the phone because Marlene wasn't home. It was exciting to talk to a famous person. Christina sounded just like she does in her Plain Talk interview!
I also spoke this week for the first time with fellow Christian agrarian, Franklin Sanders in Tennessee. We had a good chat about everything from chicken pluckers to dispensational eschatology to prisons to homeschooling and public schooling to the feminization of boys... and more.
In my last blog entry I told you about how the old Grange hall outside of Moravia is for sale and that we were thinking of buying it. Well, today I gave them a purchase offer for the property. Next Tuesday the 12 remaining members of the Grange will meet to see if they will accept my offer. I'll let you know how it goes.
By the way, I found out that the Grange was also known as the "Patrons of Husbandry." I think husbandry is such a sweet word. It is rarely used these days. I want to be a husbandman of the soil. I guess, in a way, I am. Anyone who actively cares for the land that God has entrusted to them is a husbandman. I think Wendell Berry wrote something about husbandry. I'll have to see if I can find it.
Another sign of spring..... I saw my first farmer out plowing his field this morning on my way to work. The furrows of dark, freshly turned soil were beautiful in the bright morning sun of this promising spring day.