Changing of the seasons?

While I’m hoping the near (or new) record low tonight is the last blast of winter, I’m not holding out hope. But from the 10 day forecast it looks like it should start warming up. But for maple syrup production, I feel like I might miss my goal to double what I produced last year. The coming temps will be perfect for sap run for a few days. But then the lows at night will be above freezing with highs hitting 60+ (if the weather person actually has any clue what they are saying!). Some sap may come out but if last year was any indicator once it hits 60 the run is pretty much done. I currently have about 5 gallons of sap to boil down and a few bottles worth of finished syrup in the fridge.

In my hope that spring is almost here I started seeds about a week and a half ago. Kinda late for some of the stuff, like peppers, but almost everything has sprouted, except peppers which usually take a while to germinate. I also picked up some strawberries and a couple yellow raspberry plants. When we have a warm day I have been working on the new raised beds. I decided to do one hugelkultur bed, as an experiment, using some of the branches I have laying around, grass clippings and I will put some soil over that. For this property, with the drainage issues, I think raised beds will help with productivity.

Besides the garden stuff, not much has been going on around here. I’ve decided not to purchase any new chicks this year or any other new animals (I was wanting to get ducks). Instead I am focusing on cleaning up the property, renovating the house a little bit, and trying to figure out the path forward for myself. The path is a metaphor I use often for life, mostly because my life is something I think about when I am on paths, trails, walks through the woods or even when walking through the city. Where I am, where I’ve been and most importantly where I am going. Too often I have focused on everything I want to do and not enough on myself. My past, present and future for today:

The past: The past is the past, let it go. Something I try to live by, even if it doesn’t always work.

The present: I’m single again. I have a good job where I enjoy going to work (most days). I have the house, the chickens, rabbits, garden and property to take care of (and maybe Cooper).

The future: I’m not sure on the future yet. Paying off debt is my number one goal right now. That will open up more options on the future. Simplifying my life and surroundings is another thing I am working on. Writing more, the reason I started this blog, is in there too, though don’t be surprised if I don’t post often, I’m trying to write in a journal too.

Chuck, From the Rural Side

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