Thursday, 12 June 2014

Bumpy Road

Every spring our syruping venture rattles down a bumpy road.
We have been driving this operation for 10 years now, and as in any old vehicle some of the clangouring is familiar, some of the ruts along the way we have come to expect.
This spring the whole works hit some new obstacles at full speed when sap was running hardest.
We all went flying.

I came to understand the sheer volume of water that the birch stand pumps up from the ground.
We almost lost it.
It took more hard work than I knew we were - or ever wanted to be - capable of.
On top of it there were several miracles (including you Graham Rudge).
Here is the crew that in the end managed a 2014 batch of Good Old Fashioned Yukon Birch Syrup.

There are many memories in my soul blog, images without photos, yet I don't imagine I can forget:
Lara lena, your first collecting day on that immense route in the falling snow,
Renee saving us with your butter tarts in times of deepest darkness,
coming home to Ed and the girls eating breakfast and doing 'everything right',
Sara naming all her trees, and her voice echoing through the stand,
Berwyn in rubber boots and rubber gloves touching two wires to fire up the whole batch plant,
Myself letting gravity pull me down the contours by full buckets on that two ton day,
All of us giving all we had,
unleashing our powers from within,
for better or for worse.

Here is a photo of passing the cup of first sap, before we knew how the spring would unfold.
We all have a sip before we drill. Sara played her flute.

Selwyn says to me that we are the human part of this forest. “Not every forest has a human part, but this one does.”
Our contract with the trees is that we will not waste what we tap from them.
I am so relieved we didn't break it.

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