I am so bad at updating my info on here I need to do a better job but I get so busy. Always crazy doing something.
The 2024 season is now underway. I started tapping February 4th the sap has ran great for a few days then froze up for almost 2 weeks. Once things defrosted I probably had one of the biggest 24hrs of sap runs ever. These winters are getting weirder and weirder. Rain and floods in December that's definitely a new one. Very little snow, I could have tapped in January and made syrup until February.
I am now prepping for maple weekend in between boils trying to get things cleaned up, get some syrup bottled and confections made for for the up coming NH Maple Weekend. March 16th and 17th.
YES, we will be open for Maple Weekend. March 16th and 17th from 10am to 3pm both days rain or shine. I will have all the favorites Maple cream, candy, BBQ sauce, seasonings, mustard and of course maple syrup. So far has been all Dark/Robust grade with a little bit of amber/rich but I usually don't make enough to sell because I use that for my candy and confection. We are excited to have people out in the mud getting their boots and shoes dirty and smelling the sweet steam.
We will have some samples for everyone to try. Some light refreshments coffee, hot chocolate stuff like that. My Wife will have her yurt studio open but you will need to take your shoes off in there. You will see why if you haven't been in there it is a very unique space and I highly recommend you check it out even if you are not into art.
We haven't picked a charity yet. How the charity works we set out a jar to help and collect donations for the refreshments which is totally ooptional and what ever is in the jar I match 100% dollar for dollar to our Charity. Some years we donate $300 to $350 We have donated to animal rescues, baby animal rescues, miniture horse rescue, NHASPCA, Mary's dogs, LAX for cancer and a few others not sure how much have donated over the years but it is getting up there. We try to keep it as local as possible.
So with the rising costs of e-commerce online shopping. (the costs have doubled) I have decided to do a product/sales page. I won't have it up until after the maple season is over but how it will work is you can contact me via email with what you would like and I will calculate shipping and you can pay via venmo or credit card. Once I have confirmation of payment then I send off the package. I know its a little longer of a process but it will save you money in the long run. I have been doing this as of late and it seems to be working quite well. I have seen a few other small business go this route lately with the costs going up so high. Until I have that up please feel free to contact me at my email: Bradrice@comcast.net. If you are local we can schedule a ball park time for pick up at the farm stand and you can leave the money in the Box. Cash or checks made out to Willow Creek Sugarhouse or Brad Rice. or I can ship it.
The farm stand is always open. As soon as I get some of this years syrup bottled we will get it out there. The my chickens are slow to lay this year coming off their molting I am only getting a few eggs a day for some reason. I have like 20 chickens. I have been putting off but when I do get eggs out there they will be $5 this year. With the price of organic feed being more and more expensive I have no choice. If there are other confections you are in need of please ask I usually have a small amount of the other stuff on hand outside of maple weekend and craft fairs. PLEASE BE CAREFUL my driveway is a mess like everyone's unpaved driveway. Ice & Mud are always a plague we deal with.
I had 3 hives going into the winter so 2 have made it. but not quite to spring yet. I haven't ordered more bees yet as I can split these 2. I got a little honey in 2023. they are getting harder and harder to to keep but still fun.
Eggs for sale again. With limited daylight only getting a few eggs a day but any surplus will be in the farm stand. We only use organic feed and what they forage for and some kitchen scraps. Price of feed is on the increase but they are still $5.00. The eggs should be large or bigger in size. I weight and sort them. Large...2oz, X-large 2.25oz, Jumbo 2.50oz. the biggest we ever had was I think 4.5 oz. it was huge!!!
Garden needs an overhaul. that will be in a couple of months. Needs some real work. We'll get it done as always!!!
Not much new in the sugarhouse this year I was planning on doing a tubing up grade in 2023 but with all the rain the woods were very flooded most of the summer and fall. I also found out I needed a Hip replacement so that was done just after Thanksgiving. I was laid up for most of December and January but was able to get out in the woods in February very slowly and carefully hobbled through the woods and got the taps in. I am now coming up on 14 weeks since my surgery the pain and my limp are gone just concentrating on getting stronger and building confidence.