Valentine's road trip


We got home last night from our little trip. It was a great trip, we had a lot of fun, stuffed ourselves with good food (BBQ ribs from Dinosaur in Syracuse, Cajun spiced Salmon and triple chocolate cake, to name a few ) and drinks, (I'm in love with pomegranate margaritas, best.. idea.. ever..) and it was delightful in upstate New York, where there is NO snow and it looks like spring will get there at least two weeks before it gets to us. Being somewhere with no snow and ice for a little bit, so close to home, was a nice break. Especially before we are overwhelmed with work here.

Here at home, we are still dealing with ice, worse than when we left the farm because it has been melting some and refreezing making it even more slick than it was before. Basically, it's a mess. Kevin had to sand most of our mile long road this morning for the guy who brought our repaired ATV back with his trailer because he had a really hard time on the road, jack knifing once, and I'll have to sand the barnyard to make it safer and a little easier, for me and the animals.

We enjoyed our trip and the break away from the ice, and it was much needed, but it's always good to be home. We almost always travel with the little dogs, so I'm not used to being away from them for very long.

We spent two nights in Syracuse and then headed to Plattsburg New York to spend our third night, about 30 miles away from Swanton, Vermont where we spent a few hours yesterday at Leader Evaporator company picking up our canning machine for our syrup, which was the main reason for our trip. 

We went through the edge of the Adirondacks on Wednesday, it was pretty cloudy and rainy however. We've been through this area several times before and it's one of my favorite areas, although the clouds hid a lot of the mountains from our view.



frozen melt water

downtown Saratoga, New York









Lake Champlain




bridge to Vermont


ice fishermen and huts

 Maple syrup supply heaven
 
we could make some syrup with that evaporator!


They make the plastic pipeline to collect the sap right there in their warehouse, so we got to see the actual pipeline being formed. It was really interesting to see the process up close.

We also learned a lot about pipelines, how they work, production, etc. We still use buckets to collect our sap, not pipeline, but we learned a lot about different operations.




This is where the heated plastic was coming out

evaporator doors

welding shields, there were dozens of stations where they were building all the evaporators, canning machines, etc.. by hand

new pans


We bought a canning machine to help us keep our syrup up to temperature while bottling it - it will save us a ton of mess and work. It's still in the truck since we haven't unloaded it yet. We also bought new candy molds, including bunnies and bear molds, and also a few books, and a couple cases of pretty jars with Elk on them, to bottle our syrup in.


They have machines to make maple cream and candy, but they are way out of my price range right now, I'd need to sell a ton of candy to help pay for the machines. This year, I'll try my hand at maple candies the old fashioned way and see what happens. 

In Syracuse we made our usual stop at our favorite used bookstore. My kind of shopping is used bookstores, Maple syrup supplies, and any Tractor supply I can inside of. I managed to find some goat halters in one of them, so I bought two to try on Sammy & Bea, to see how they fit.

my book haul 

I also found a book especially for Douglas.... He seems to really like it.
 


Now it's time to head back to the barn for a while to muck out some pens and give everyone some fresh straw before it's time for them to go to bed for the night.

As much as I enjoy eating out, I always love being home and being able to cook in my kitchen again, so after I finish cleaning in the barn, and tucking the barn kids in, I think I'll take the time to make some fresh pasta, or maybe some tortillas tonight so we can enjoy our first meal back at home by the fire.

The sun peeked through the clouds earlier, but now it's started to snow and blow quite heavily. I have a feeling it's just blowing through and won't last very long, but we'll have to see what the morning brings.

Comments

Dollwood Farms said…
awww, missed you. :) Glad you are back. I want to hear about the process for making syrup one day. :) Are you going to sell it online? I would love some syrup or candy or both!
luckybunny said…
Thank you :) Hopefully we'll have a good sap run this year (paws crossed) and we should have maple syrup to share and hopefully, hopefully (if it works and I don't eat it all in a moment of weakness) I'll have some candy :)
Dreaming said…
What a fun post. I loved seeing all of the 'stuff'!
Did you know that my Haffies were used to pull the sap collection wagon (do you call it sap???)
They worked for the Amish and were bought in Indiana. I'm not certain where they actually did their wagon pulling, though.
Yum, lots of great food.

I luv your reading buddy!

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