Spring rain brings red maple buds to the forest floor.
The seasonal wrap ups are wrapping up for the year. Vermont sugarmakers report yielding only 40% to 70% of an average crop, and the story sounds much the same in Quebec, where, despite there being plenty of syrup in the strategic reserves, the small cabane à sucre business has reportedly been fairly devastated by two back-to-back COVID seasons. Boo.
Perhaps this grim news has inspired earlier-than-usual coverage of maple syrup’s little brother birch syrup. Whereas birch syrup has been available for purchase for quite some time, beech and black walnut syrups are fairly newly available and may be followed by basswood, poplar and sycamore!
If that doesn’t cheer you up, there’s always food! There is a new maple beer in town called “And . . . That’s How You Get Ants.” In the things-you-can-make-at-home category, there are: Berry-Stuffed French Toast, Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple Cream Cheese Syrup, Maple Bacon, Salad with Goat Cheese-Stuffed Figs, Strawberry Icebox Cake with Maple-Ginger Cream, and Vegan Lemon Tart. Not a bad haul!
Backyard news explodeth! As you await the onslaught of the spring bug populations, know these earth-friendly tips for keeping them out of your backyard (and here)! And know how to eat these ten edible backyard flowers! Forgot to celebrate Earth Day? Check out these five easy steps to backyard composting. While you are at it, refresh your recollection on safe backyard burning with these tips from a fire department. A nationwide backyard campout has been scheduled, and it’s time to register for BBQ University! Looking for a new backyard hobby for the warm months? There’s always chain saw sculpture!