Archive for March, 2011

Last open house

This Sunday, March 27th, marks the last open house at the Hardwick Sugar Shack for the 2011 season. Yup, this is your last chance….come by any time between 11-4 pm for a tour.

We have the much-anticipated maple candy and maple cream available now. It was made by a maple farm in the Northeast, since we ran out of time to make it ourselves as we usually do. It was all we could do to keep up with the sap this year! Tastes great, and we always sell out. Come early for the best selection of maple goodies.

I also posted a new recipe for maple sauce that Anne from Hardwick gave me (they will be serving that sauce on ice-cream at historical society meeting next week during a talk on local farms).

Check out the video and see how the sap is flowing this week:



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Today, Sunday, heralds the arrival of Spring! The vernal equinox (when the days and nights are about the same length) officially arrives at 7:21 pm. Come celebrate it’s arrival by making maple syrup–a northeastern experience that epitomizes the season.

This week we’ve been happily overworked with an abundance of sap. Joe’s already made more maple syrup this year than all of last season (thank goodness, because last year was a terrible year for making maple syrup).

We’ve had lots of visitors to the farm. This week we had a family that drove all the way from Florida! OK, so we were just a stop along the way to Boston, but still, we love that they made the detour! This is week three of our open house, so come on by anytime between 11-4.

The end of the season is fast approaching, so visit now while the sap is still flowing. We’ll be boiling today and making pure Massachusetts maple syrup!

I’ve had many questions about when we’ll have maple cream (that wonderful, spreadable maple goodness). You need to use light amber to make the cream, and that’s in short supply this year. Since we don’t have any, we’ve called around to many other local sugar houses to see if they have some. There’s none to be found (yet). We’re still looking, and will keep you posted when it’s made and stocked. In the meantime, we do have maple candy for sale at the open house!

When: Every Sunday in March from 11-4.
Where: 572 Jackson Rd, Hardwick, MA
Contact: 413-477-0932

The Hardwick Sugar Shack has a Facebook page now! Please “like” our page and spread the word to your FB friends

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The rain did not stop the brave souls who came out to see the making of Massachusetts maple syrup yesterday! Thanks to those who stopped by. For those who missed it, well, you have three Sundays left (and let’s hope for some great weather for the remaining events!)

Yoga master John Featherstone sent me this great NY Times article about farming (note the yoga classes at the local Grange!). I just wish farming (like teaching yoga) was not equated to giving up financial security (take a gander at the house behind them in the photo).

Lastly, we did have lots of visitors who went to the pancake breakfast at the Hardwick Winery before they took the trip over to the sugar house. The Winery will continue to have the breakfast every Sunday in March (just like our open houses). So plan to do both for a great day in the country. Click here for more information and to make reservations.

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Fluff and Maple

I told my friend from California that I was having a Fluffernutter for lunch. She had NEVER heard of that sandwich before! Turns out Fluff is a New England thing, just like maple syrup. So I sent some of both to her family. Her son seems to be enjoying both of the sticky goodies…

The weather is warm today, and we’re expecting the sap to run. Joe and Jon just left the house to see what’s happening with the lines at the Quabbin Reservoir. Bottom line: looks like we will be boiling tomorrow for the first open house of the season! Yahoo, spring has sprung after a VERY long winter.

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This weekend marks the first open house at the Hardwick Sugar Shack. Come join us! All the information, including the directions, can be found on the Visit page.

As of this writing, I’m not sure whether we will be boiling. The extended forecast looks like it’s a possibility. I’ll make a post when we get a bit closer…

I’m struck by how different this season is starting off versus last year. Scroll down and see the video from March of last year. Look–you can see bare ground!!! It was 50 degrees that day. We’ve got TONS of snow this year (what a work-out getting the lines ready for the season. Whew.) I’m hoping that lots of snow translates into a great production. Last year was our worst ever. It was too warm too fast and the sap flowed very little. I know most people love to have that spring warmth come in fast and furious after a long winter, but it makes for a lousy production.

Keep your fingers crossed for this year!

Last night, as the sun was setting, we got a real treat. A barn owl was birched on our bird feeder on the back deck and nine wild turkeys were looking for a place to roost for the night in our back yard. What a treat it is living in such a place. We look forward to having you come visit!

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