Winter at the farm has been busy. This year has been light on snow cover but fairly cold with many days reaching negative temperatures. This winter has been full of ups and downs and we cannot wait to get through this crazy time period.
In November 2021 Steph broke some bones in her foot. Being the tough mountain girl she is, it did not stop her from completing the daily farm task and working a full-time job. As of January, the bones still hadn’t healed. The decision was made that surgery was the only option. Farmer Matt lost his full-time job at the end of January and has taken on the burden of all the farm and household chores while Steph finds herself stuck in the recliner chair for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
We have been lucky that some good friends came over to help deliver the rest of the hay to the barn. The animals are healthy and happy. We eagerly await spring so they can move to fresh pasture. We have been doing well selling our farm made products at local stores, online farmers markets, from our website and here at the farm. Our raw unfiltered honey has become a number one seller. We have added several new products and will be introducing a few more of the new several weeks. It’s almost time to tap the trees. This year we will be doing both maple syrup and birch syrup. Warren and Matt have been walking the lines in preparation for the sap flow. Sugarhouse is cleaned and the arch is ready to go.
March has easily become one of the busiest months on the farm. The sap is running and the steam is rising from the evaporator. We are excited that Breezy Mountain Farms LLC has been recognized for operating a bird-friendly sugarbush, as part of the Bird-Friendly Maple Project. The Bird-Friendly Maple Project is a partnership among Audubon Vermont, the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation, and the Vermont Maple Sugar Maker's Association. Preparations for expanding the apiary continues. We will be making a larger space for the new hives and adding more electric fencing to protect them from the bears. We also have exciting news, we are preparing for the arrival of 5 alpacas. Whim, Dynasty, Addy, Ava and Kassidy will be joining us in May. The alpacas will be part of our fiber production along with our English and French angora rabbits. We will be adding alpaca fiber products, yarn and gifts to the offerings on our website this weekend. If you see something you like, but not in the size or color you would like, please send us a message and we will see if we can get it for you.
The apple and cherry trees and blueberry bushes have lots of new growth and the buds are looking great. We are looking forward to fresh fruit later this year.
2021 Maple Syrup Season The days will be warmer and the nights below freezing and so begins the start of maple syrup season. The new sap house is having the final touches completed. Sugar arch is set and the firewood is stacked. This year we expect to have just over 500 taps. With the addition of a new main line we are making extra drops and finalizing the sap line runs. Sanitizing and cleaning tanks and equipment and preparing to make the best maple syrup you have ever had. Maple syrup is available for sale on our website https://www.breezymountainfarms.com/shop.html#/
Looking Ahead to Spring We are looking forward to the earlier sunrises and longer days. Planning of the gardens and food plots have begun. Some seeds will be started indoors over the few weeks. We are in hopes to start building the new greenhouse as soon as the snow melts.
The calves will be moved in to the new barn. The larger space has an area for feed storage, a calving stall, stanchions for milking and health care, and of course more room for Althea, Gideon and Esmerelda to chase each other, eat and relax. The apiary is expanding. Construction of 6 more honey hives will begin and nucs have been ordered.
We are planning the brooding area for the 30 meat birds and 20 turkeys, which will arrive in May. We will also be receiving ten new brown egg layers, two guard geese, two more ducks and two heritage breed turkeys.
Soon we will be adding angora and wool fiber to our list of offerings. It will can be purchased raw, as roving, or finished yarn.