Monday, March 21, 2011

happy spring equinox!

my kids watering the new starts
Really, yesterday was the spring equinox, so happy belated spring equinox.  We didn't do anything to celebrate, but we did plant our first seed starts of the year. 

My kids love watering them.  Right now these are some of the best watered seeds on the planet.  I think they've been watered 3 times in the last 24 hours or so.  But it's great to see them so excited about it, and really being interested in the cycle of life.  My daughter is learning about the concept of death- and asks a lot about it.  We took both of them to my grandma's funeral last fall, and it made a great impression on her, and has been the source of many questions.

So naturally we also talk about plants, what happens to them when they die, and how they become compost for new plants.  It's hard to extrapolate to the human world, but she hasn't asked about that.  I've been tempted to mention that some of the squirrels we see playing in the big maple tree have also ended up as compost in the raspberry patch, but there's no need to go there just yet.

We planted our watermelon seeds (maybe this will be the year they actually grow) the Garden Peach and Opalka tomatoes ( I love the name Opalka.  It makes me happy just to say it).  We also planted the jalapenos with the funny name (Jaluv An) and some onions (Evergreen bunching- a hardware store special).  I put them all in some old plant containers that I soaked in a mild bleach solution overnight, and I mixed in a few plastic cups too.   They're all in our south-facing bedroom window now, soaking up the sun.

 I was despairing a few days ago about our maple syrup production.  Not any more!  It's back with a vengeance.  Clearly our old silver maple prefers damp, slightly warm weather.  The last two days were in the 40s and low 50's F, with some mist and light rain, and the sap poured forth.  We had a gallon of sap yesterday, and another gallon and a half today.  We have half of a quart mason jar of honey yellow syrup now, and no signs of the tree budding yet, so we're not stopping.

My wife remarked that maybe buying maple syrup isn't such a bad deal- since it took 3 1/2 hours to boil the water off of today's batch.  But I doubt that the stuff we got at Costco could ever be this good.  It's nutty and light- tastes nothing like the cheap stuff.  And there are other benefits.  I never would have known how well it goes with brandy.  I poured off a little bit- maybe two tablespoons of the watery half-finished syrup and put in a shot of brandy-- wow!  That's niice.   

No comments:

Post a Comment