Company blog

Return of the beavers

We in Vermont live close to the natural world, and in general we love it.  But there’s no denying that we leave our mark on it — we build roads, walls and sugarhouses for example.

Sometimes the creatures of the natural world do things that we find inconvenient.  For several years running a phoebe would build a nest atop a light fixture on our back deck, making it awkward to enjoy it in the warm days of early summer:  if we sat out there, she would...

Interesting article on Maple Syrup Grades

This article in The Atlantic Monthly does a good job of describing, from a connaisseur’s perspective, the differences between the lighter and darker syrup grades.

From our perspective, though, it has one significant error:  it states that the lighter syrup grades are generally more expensive, the darker grades cheaper.  This may have been true at one time but today — at least at Hidden Springs Maple — this price differential has largely disappeared...

October snow

Even in Vermont, ground-covering snowfall in October is a rare event; we were unpleasantly surprised last Friday when we got 2-3 inches overnight and had to spend some time clearing off the car in the morning.  But that was all gone by that afternoon.

But now this:  at least a foot of wet snow overnight.

All this rainy, rainy summer I’ve been wondering if this trend will continue into the winter.   Let’s hope not.

The good news:  the maples pretty...

Hidden Springs Maple Farm Store — Open House November 25th!

The Hidden Springs Maple Farm Store is almost ready to open.  On November 25th (“Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving) we will be hosting an Open House and Reception at the Farm Store in Putney.  Here is the flyer that we’ve come up with; we’ll be printing these and posting them around town shortly (click on the image for a larger view):

 

Hidden Springs post-Irene update

Wow…that was some storm!

Like most of Vermont, especially southern and central regions, at the Hidden Springs sugarbush we experienced mild winds, and incredible quantities of rain over much of Sunday.  Catherine and I went out with Fraser in the middle of it (early Sunday afternoon) to see what we could see.  I regret that we only got a few pictures (it was difficult to keep the camera dry and our old digital gets temperamental when it’s damp.)

We...

Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken Wings

TIME/SERVINGS

Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins, plus seasoning time
Makes: 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and midsections (or flats), wing tips discarded
1/3 cup Hidden Springs Maple maple syrup (we recommend grade B which has the strongest maple flavor)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard...

One of these leaves is not like the others.

Can you tell which leaf is the sugar maple?  The others are red maples.

Crazy weather, Vermont style

As we in Vermont watch the news of floods and tornadoes, we give thanks that — long winters and the occasional ice storm aside — our weather here tends to be pretty mild. (Of course, as I drove home from a business trip yesterday afternoon I heard actual tornado warnings for north-central Vermont, something I’d never heard before. So far as I know, no tornadoes actually formed, but still…)

But last weekend Catherine and I were at home when we had...

Free at last!

Came back last night after a short time away, and woke up this morning to the sound of a grouse doing his mating “drumming“. (If my clever link doesn’t work for you, try going here and look for the little “play” control.) When I looked out the kitchen window I saw that, miraculously, the last of the snow covering the path into the woods had melted in the recent rains.

So, time to walk the dogs; down through the woods, around the (still mostly...

Sugar Season’s End

There’s a poignancy to the end of sugaring.  We talked around the dinner table about whether there would be more good sap, whether it was worth boiling again.

Someone remarked how unusual it is to finish sugaring when there’s still snow on the ground.

“Call it!” someone else said. And that, more or less, was  it.

There’s lots of clean-up to do, and the urgency is gone.  Now the trees are all revisited,  taps pulled out of the holes.  Equipment is...

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