The cold wind whips my hair across my face as I load the logs into my crate. The frigidness of the early morning is a stark contrast to the raging fire I feed every 20 minutes. Pouring more of the clear water like liquid into the pans keeping them as full as I can. Watching for the boil to return. Stoking the flames with more and more wood to keep it as hot as I can. Back to the house I return to reset the timer for another 20 minutes. Making maple syrup is a long tedious process. About 50 gallons of sap will get us about 1 gallon of finished syrup. Each gallon is hauled by hand out of our woods and up to the storage bin. It is very labor intensive and time consuming. It cooks down all day till Pete brings it inside for me to finish on my stove. I know what to look for, what temp it must reach and how to strain it the last and final time to get the right results we want. March is really late for us to be usually doing syrup, but with it being as cold as it has been lately that’s when we were able to get to the maple trees and drill into them.
Making maple syrup is a true sign that spring is coming. Our first chicks will be arriving in about 2 more weeks and our first turkeys come next week! We now have about 27 baby lambs in the barn. They run and jump on each other and are just so cute. The entire farm is getting a huge case of cabin fever. Micah asks regularly to go to the farm with his daddy, I yearn for sitting outside with my family, and the animals all are longing for green grass! Soon all of our dreams will come true – we hope!
Who else is longing for spring? What plans do you have in the works for this summer? I know I have lots to do this summer, and I can’t wait to get started! Please feel free to comment and share what you’re excited to do this summer!
Hey there friends,
Thanks for catching up with me on this fine Monday afternoon. I can’t believe its March and we still have feet of snow! NO FAIR! I want to move someplace warm! A friend of mine lives in Hawaii with her husband and little baby boy. I am so jealous right now of her!
As you may have seen on our facebook page, our Ewe’s started lambing! Pete wasn’t expecting them to lamb until March and the first lambs was born last Wednesday! The first two we have named Clover and Ruby as per an idea from a Buying Club member. Saturday Pete came home and said that there were 2 more lambs born. A female and a male. The female was big and was nursing well with her mom. The male however was up walking but didn’t seem to have a mama with him. No one seemed to care for this little guy. Pete tried to graft him onto another mother overnight. That didn’t work. He brought the little weak lamb home to our house Sunday morning and tried to get it to drink from a bottle. I named the little guy Champ. Micah loved having the baby lamb in the house. He would check on him in his little box. Sadly Champ passed away Sunday night. We had another lamb born on Sunday too. So we have Clover, Ruby, Starlight, and Pip. They are all doing well and are so gosh darn cute and cuddly.
Having these lambs that some reject their offspring, some reject one twin but bond with the other, and some bond right away like they should, gives a whole new view of Scripture. In the Bible Jesus is referred to as our Shepherd who cares for His sheep. We are referred to as sheep. And let me tell you, from first hand experiences – sheep are really dumb. Like really dumb. They have their moments of seeming smartness, but on the whole they are very moldable. I have had more people tell me “How could a ewe just reject her child?” Do we not see this in our own culture today? How many babies are abandoned by their mothers? We are no different. Sheep need a shepherd who can lead them to where they need to go. They can’t do it by themselves. They stay in a group and all flow as one. Rarely you’ll find one off by itself. The group is almost always led by the ram. He is the first to head to the new pasture when the shepherd opens the gate and everyone else just follows along. We too are like this. We tend to follow the leader don’t we? If it’s a good leader like a grounded Pastor then we will be following in the right manner and following the Supreme Shepherd; however, many times we follow others because they seem like the know what they’re doing. And when the shepherd opens the gate, the leader will decide to run the other way, taking his flock with him. Again, we can see this with ourselves too. But our Supreme Shepherd is oh so gracious and will come and find that sheep that wanders away and will tend to the lost abandoned ones too. He will give them a bottle and become their caretaker. How beautiful isn’t it? One of the things I love about raising sheep particularly is how it has opened my eyes to new facets of God’s character.
I’m glad I got to share that story with you. If you’d like to come and see our new baby lambs feel free to stop by anytime. We’ll show you all around and cook you a meal before you go! We have about 10 more ewes left to lamb this month so there will be lots of naming and activity fun on our facebook page and probably on the blog here too!
Stay tuned for more fun.
Until we chat again. Stay with the Shepherd.