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Monday, February 16, 2015

Birds & Maple Syrup

I've done a fair amount of bluebird watching lately.  They're already scouting for homes to raise their young.  This one wanted a drink from the birdbath but was wary....

Very wary...

About to go for it....

Watching the birds,  I think they are the best judge of the right time to tap trees for syrup.  When the woodpeckers start drilling the maple trees in late winter it means the sap is running, to me anyway.

I bought ready-made spiles and lines this year just to make it easier to tap the maples.  You may remember the first time we tapped our trees Goodman just cut lengths of pvc pipe.  You can read that article by clicking here if you missed it.

 I probably should have warned you that our setup this time wasn't all that glamorous, lol.  The wind was so fierce (and stinkin' cold) when I started boiling the sap that Goodman had to block the fire pit with whatever he could just to keep the flames under the pot.  This lil rig-up worked well enough though.

I had collected sap for a week (4 trees) and it took all day to boil it down to 2 pints. :)

Or 4 half pints, however you want to look at it.  I'll be doing it again in another week if the weather clears up.  Yeah, the ratio is still 32:1, but it was worth it and fun to boot. :)

Right now it's sleeting,

 but I'm dreaming of working in my garden.

I'd cut you a big hunk of fresh bread if I could pass it to you.  

My begonias think spring has arrived.  I can't wait.  
Until next time, stay cozy and warm.  ;)

The Enchanting Rose

Monday, February 2, 2015

My Salt Came From Where???

Pink, white or gray?  I know it's fashionable to use a fancy grinder for your salt and even choose a cute color... but... I have to ask where does your salt of choice come from, and do you really want to support that particular economy?

The minerals contained in the top three healthiest salt choices are trace minerals that our bodies need to function properly, and all of the choices below contain them.  (I have no affiliation with any of them.) What I was shocked to learn was where some of them originated.  Now, I'm a responsible American homestead-type so I want to support local businesses, and if not in my general locale, then I try to at least keep my dollars in the U. S.  Sometimes that's not possible in today's economy, but in the case of salt it is possible to keep it local.

Note the country where they are mined.  This is not always clear on packaging because manufacturers cleverly give the location where they are packaged then consumers take it that's where the product originated when in reality that is not the case. I've done a little research to make it simple for you to see where your healthy salt is from.
        Pink or White Himalayan Salt - Pakistan          
All Himalayan salt comes from Pakistan.    

Celtic Sea Salt - Brittany region of France

Real Salt  (sea salt) - Utah, USA

I'll be buying USA salt henceforth.   How about you?

Have a great week, Y'all!
Shared at:  The Art Of Home-making Mondays, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop