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maple syrup bottle with yurt in background in vermont

Maple sugaring season has come and gone and we came away with around two pints of syrup this year. Typically we make significantly more. Like, gallons of it. But we took it easy this year—nine taps and only one boiling day. We were very, very reasonable.

(Here’s our backyard sugaring setup.)

The reason for all this reasonableness is a bit embarrassing, though: we are running low on firewood. We have enough to either stay warm until May or to make more syrup, but not both. We were faced with a decision, then, between warmth and sweets.

Would that we lived in a world in which we could have both the cozy and the sugar. But alas, alas.

We turn now toward other spring projects, like preparing the garden. We’re hoping to improve our performance this year, and so have built five more raised beds for things like basil and garlic and carrots and chard.

We also started seeds for tomatoes, but those have done fine in our in-ground garden the past few years, so we will continue them there.

Now we wait for the seeds to germinate, and we wait for the snow to finish melting and the hill to dry out so that we can get several yards of topsoil and compost delivered to fill the new garden beds.

In the meantime, I begin to fell trees for next year’s wood—you will not catch me again limited in my sugaring by fuel supply! Warmth and sweets, cozy and sugar, I demand both.

The birds are back, too, making the mornings lively and chipper, providing a little boost to get out of bed and get going. The world doesn’t wait.

On morning dogs walks lately the fields have been filled with dozens of robins. Robins upon robins upon robins, running, pausing, running, pausing, pecking. The worm hunt is on. Spring is nigh.

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