thewheelandspindle

Quality crocheted products for home and lifestyle

Make your own Red Currant Cordial!  — July 19, 2017

Make your own Red Currant Cordial! 

I love Anne of Green Gables (as any Canadian woman should) and I’ve always thought I would love to taste the infamous raspberry cordial that Marilla Cuthbert made in the story. And while I did not have access to endless piles of raspberries, I did spend quite a while picking two large buckets of red currants at my husband’s grandparents farm this week. 

I had no idea what to make with my red currants without an extra trip to the grocery store (which is currently impossible because we are only using one vehicle). I thought about jam, but my husband kinda grimaced over that (we are a strawberry jam only family). I also thought about various fruity desserts but because I don’t enjoy cranberries in dessert (and red currants are also quite strong and in need of sweetening) I realized that wouldn’t go over so well. So I took to Pinterest, as any woman would. 

After scrolling through various scone, jam and crumble recipes I finally came across a recipe for cordial. So I read through it. All you need are: 

Canning jars and lids 

Sugar 

Red currants 

Water 

It really is that simple. Essentially you are making a simple syrup out of the red currants, sugar and water. 

So I went through my buckets and sorted through all the good and bad currants and took out stems and leaves (and a few earwigs, yuck). Then I transferred the red currants to a large pot and poured water in until an inch of water covered the currants on top. Next I turned the stove on to boiling, placed a lid on my pot and made lunch for my kids, who were whining at my feet. 


I let the water boil until the currants had “popped” releasing their juices. And then I began to strain them through a towel and collindar over another large pot. 


Once I finished straining the currants, I transferred all the juice back to the large pot and set it on the stove. I added sugar until it was sweet enough for me (still slightly tangy) and turned it to boiling again, stirring occasionally.


As it came to a rolling boil, I washed all my jars and lids as well as my funnel and set them up. 


Once I was satisfied that it had boiled enough, I ladeled the syrup into a bunch of mason jars and sealed them. Then I placed them all in a large pot of HOT water (cold water on hot jars will instantly. Rack them) and set them on the stove to simmer for 45 minutes to destroy any remaining bacteria and seal the lids shut. 

It was that easy! You can make both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from your red currant syrup. You could simply mix it with a bit of water and add ice for a refreshing tangy cordial as I did in the following picture. My kids thought it was delicious. 

Or, you can add club soda or sprite and/or vodka to spice things up when friends come over. Everyone will be raving about your homemade red currant cordial! 

Have you ever made a fruit cordial of your own? Let me know how you like this recipe (substitute strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries for an equally tastey coridal). 

Advertisements
Farming, babies and homeschooling prep  — July 16, 2017

Farming, babies and homeschooling prep 

Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry I haven’t written a post in so long! Summer is crazy around here! My husband works longer hours and then has farming to do after a full day of work. We spend most of our evenings cutting, raking, baling and gathering hay as well as taking care of a herd of 40 goats, 30 beef cattle and 150 chickens and turkeys. And being 35 weeks pregnant makes everything  I do take a little longer.  


Speaking of being 35 weeks pregnant, we have the baby’s room almost completely set up and all our supplies gathered for a home birth. I’m really looking forward to not having to drive to the hospital while in labour this time! My 3-year old has her heart set on watching the birth but we will see what happens when the time comes. 


Our zero waste journey is at a bit of a standstill right now because of my lack of energy. We still try to stay clear of plastic grocery bags, cling wrap and straws but we aren’t perfect; that’s why it’s called a journey. We have quite the stash of glass jars and bottles now that we use regularly instead of using plastic to store our food and we do not microwave plastic at all! 


I’ve been getting ready to homeschool my 3-year old this year so we invested in a laminator (I know, I know…it covers things in plastic, but hear me out). We wanted to have our homeschool supplies last for a long time because we will be homeschooling three kids. This way, we won’t be using as much paper or workbooks but will instead have a number of reusable activities for years to come. I try to fit as many items in one laminating pouch as I can so I can eliminate some of the plastic waste. Once we have used our laminated curriculum to its full potential, we will pass it on to someone else. 

Hope your summer is going well! Let me know what you think about homeschooling in the comments or if you have any tips for zero waste homeschooling. 🙂 

MIA — May 24, 2017

MIA

So sorry everyone, I’ve been MIA for a few weeks now. Here’s what I’ve been up to: 

Redoing the flooring in the master bedroom

Painting and redoing the flooring in the nursery. 

Organizing baby boy stuff. 

Painting the girls room. 

And moving them into one shared room. That made for a lot of sleepless nights at first. 

Then one got sick for a week. 

And the other for a second week. 

Filmed my last crochet video tutorial on how to crochet a crochet hook holder. 

Then the oldest got an ear infection and had an allergic reaction to some bug bites. 

We had a yard sale on the long weekend. 

I finished up a bunch of fabric lined pencil cases. 

And lastly, their daddy built them an epic sandbox. (Which still does not have any sand.) 
I wrote down in my planner, weekly reminders to write a blog post but life kept getting in the way. Now to go take a nap cuz baby boy has me yawning all day long…welcome to the third trimester. 

What would you like to hear more about? The farm? The zero waste lifestyle? The fam jam? The crochet business? Let me know in the comments! I aim to please. 😉 

Interview with Spindle and Rose — March 30, 2017

Interview with Spindle and Rose

This post is an interview I had with Alexa Clauson of the Etsy Shop, Spindle and Rose. Alexa is collaborating with me on my Video Course series, providing a coupon code for her beautiful fabric for those of you who watch the video course! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Alexa and I’m very excited to be working with her.

1)    What sparked you interest in the handmade market, and how did you decide to make the leap to sell things yourself?

 

I have always loved to cut and paste and sew and paint – get messy and make things with my hands! I have sold handmade items on a couple different Etsy shops I’ve tried over the years. There was a time I was making vinyl purses with an industrial sewing machine (that sadly got destroyed in a flood!) and had an Etsy shop for those and I also sold some illustrations I drew. I’ve always had a connection with crafters and sewists, so I wanted to be in the loop with like-minded individuals and Etsy is a wonderful world for that. I was doing a lot of different odd jobs in production from baking cherry pies to screen printing tee shirts and I kept missing my favorite job, which was working with and selling fabric for a really cool quilting company here in Colorado. My wonderful husband kept encouraging me to start my own business and has helped me combine my love of textiles with connecting with the crafting community.

 

2)    Where did you get the idea for your shop name?

 

I just spent a day brainstorming a sort of “brand” name I could feel inspired by and get excited about. I wanted to combine the sort of “raw” beginnings of sewing with an image that represented design and art. I remember coming up with a bunch of names that weren’t quite the right fit and tossing and turning in bed that night – words just buzzing in my head. I love fairy tales and for some reason, Sleeping Beauty kept coming into my head. I thought about the peasant-princess entering the castle to find an old wooden spinning wheel – the only one left in the kingdom – and being drawn to the spinning wheel and silver needle. I think the spell of the spindle, working a material into something new and beautiful is – simply – like magic. Just as my mom creating princess dresses for me and my sister when we were kids out of fabric we picked was amazing! The rose was not only another symbol in fairy tales, but a symbol of design and organic beauty. The thorns remind me of the sewing needle, sharp –but creating beautiful things. The rose represents, to me, the amazing art and design that is now produced on cotton. I am constantly blown away by the new fabric designs coming out by artists all over the world. So inspiring to want to sew, make something. Limitless. Spindle and Rose ~

 

3)    Tell me a little about yourself

 

I am an artist and writer from a very loving and creative family. I live in beautiful Colorado with very fortunate views of the mountains and my amazing husband, our youngest son, and our sweet old dog Mishka –aka Mouse J I spend most of my time working on my fabric business and get a lot of creative inspiration from my super skilled and artistic customers! I wish I could sew what they sew!! I spend my spare time having adventures with my hubby, trying not to order more fabric than budgeted!! and writing, in bits and teeny tiny little pieces, a fantasy novel.

 

4)    What does your creative space look like?

 

I am so fortunate to have an amazing space in our little loft upstairs. We are quickly growing out of it, but my husband’s built shelves into basically every available nook and cranny for me – and I’ve come right behind him to fill them all with bolts of fabric. He also built a really cool cutting table for me from a design he found online with just a big plank of wood and metal shelves with tons of storage space for packaging, thread, ribbon… I have a large window view of the mountains off in the distance and just a really wonderful space for cutting orders and sewing as well. There’s a plastic deer head hanging in one corner, a white board for ideas, some drawings I sketch here and there, usually a cup of tea or coffee (or a glass of wine) and a good sound system for music, too.

 

5)    What are some time management tips that you utilize in your business?

 

I get really antsy in the morning to get going on orders. I always have plenty of time, but I want to make sure I fill all the orders that came in the day before – shipping as soon as possible is really important to me. Then I usually have the afternoons to work on social media and blog ideas. I have typed up a schedule of posts I want to be sure to do and keep ideas for blog projects on a Pinterest board. Honestly, my husband and I spend even our weekends working on the website, our Etsy shop, and different ideas to reach more people, so right now, I really try to remember to take some time off as well J It helps to gain some perspective on the business if I step back once in a while.

 

6)    Where do you fit in your “me time” and what interests do you have outside of your business?

On Saturdays, my husband helps me get orders out by noon when the post office closest to us closes. Then, I usually call it a day and take the rest of Saturday to have fun! I’ve recently found that daily exercise – even just 30 minutes, really helps me center and focus. I’m still trying to figure out how to fit in my novel.

 

7)    Do you ever sell at craft shows? If so, do you have any tips for that?

 

I have helped friends sell at craft shows, and I have sold purses at some festivals. I recently met a really sweet and artistic woman who just moved near me who sews wonderful unique baby items in her Etsy shop Banana Hen Goods and she has encouraged me to do some craft shows with her. It really helps to have a friend who can share booth expenses and set up/tear down before and after, too. This is not necessary, of course, but it is just nice to have a fellow crafter with you!! When selling my fabrics, I just want to be as organized as possible. I’m going to create fat quarter bundles wrapped in really pretty ribbon with cards to my shop attached. I think it helps to have a discount offered on your cards so customers are encouraged to visit your shop online as well. This particular show is for a good cause, too. The proceeds go to help a family adopt a baby, so it is extra special when you get opportunities to reach the community and introduce your business in a helpful, charitable way. When you’re a small business, you can’t always afford to donate as much as you’d like, so small local opportunities like this are really worth it. I have to thank Erica with Banana Hen Goods for setting this craft show up. Also, I can be shy, but I did learn a long time ago, people really want to know about you and what you’ve created. It is really important to stay positive and excited about your “product.” You know you have passion, you’re kind, and care about what you’re selling so don’t be afraid to share that passion with others who come up to your booth. It is a great way to connect with fellow artists and crafters out there who also share that passion. The “networking” and friendships that can develop from craft shows can be surprising and incredibly rewarding when you put yourself out there.

Tune in to my How to Crochet for Beginners Video Series on You Tube to get the coupon code for 10% off some beautiful fabric!

My You Tube Channel: thewheelandspindle https://youtu.be/yXnM8qdOCFw

Check out Alexa’s Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SpindleandRose?ref=l2-shopheader-name

 

How to make Farmer’s Cheese without Cheesecloth!  — March 23, 2017

How to make Farmer’s Cheese without Cheesecloth! 

My husband brought home a ton of milk the other night so after straining it all through a towel into various mason jars I decided to try my hand at making cheese the next day. 

We made our cheese with raw milk from our cow and some from one of our goats. 

What you need: 

1 gallon of milk 

2 large lemons 

Dish towel 

Cotton yarn 

A pinch of non-iodized salt. (I used sea salt) 

The first thing I did was find something that held a gallon of milk and I poured all the milk into it until I had a gallon. 


My almost-three-year old was a very willing helper. 


Here is the gallon jug full of milk. 

I poured the milk into a large pot to boil and added a pinch of salt. 


Next we cut up our lemons and squeezed their juice into a bowl. 

Make sure to occasionally stir your milk and once the little bubbles start to form around the outside, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. 


Once the lemon juice has been added, the milk will begin to curdle. Gently stir in the lemon juice and let it sit for 15 minutes. 


Set a stainless steel bowl under a knob on one of your kitchen cupboards and set your colander on top. Put your dish towel over the colander and start to ladle the cheese curds and whey into the towel. 


Once most of the whey has drained through the colander, tie the dish towel to the cupboard knob and leave the bowl underneath it to drain for another hour or two. 


Once mine had stopped dropping I squeezed out as much whey as I could while it was still tied there and let it sit for another 1/2 hour. 

I squeezed it out again and then opened up the towel on my counter. After picking off a few bits of cheese stuck to the towel and rolling it all into a ball, I had cheese! 

Store your cheese in the fridge. You can make all sorts of combinations of herbs and jams with your cheese to make a delicious spread for a party. I’m looking forward to trying a bunch of different ideas. 

Have you ever made cheese? Share a photo or tell me what extras you added to your cheese. 

Reduce your Grocery Bill by Making your own Cleaning Products — March 18, 2017

Reduce your Grocery Bill by Making your own Cleaning Products

Have you ever thought about the cost of your cleaning products that you purchase at the grocery store? Or how many unneeded and harmful chemicals are in them? I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and I decided to make my own cleaning products. 

This morning I gathered all the ingredients that I purchased yesterday and began to make three cleaning recipes that resulted in zero waste! I made Dishwasher detergent tabs, lemon essential oil and citrus vinegar all-purpose cleaner. 


The coat of all my ingredients was: 

Baking soda=$1.32 

White vinegar =$3.77 ($0.37 per 16 oz mason jar) 

Lemons=$2.97 

Coconut oil=$8.99 

Kosher salt=$3.29 ($0.82 per batch of detergent tabs) 

The white vinegar and kosher salt can be used to make 5-6 batches total. 


To make the dishwasher detergent tabs you need: 

1 cup kosher salt 

2 cups baking soda 

3/4 cup lemon juice (I squeezed my own lemons it takes approximately 3 lemons) 

Mix the salt and soda together in a stainless steel bowl 


and then add the lemon juice. It will fizz for about a minute. Once it has stopped fizzing, mix everything well until there are no clumps. 


Then spoon into silicone moulds or ice cube trays. Allow the detergent tabs to harden completely before you remove them (this will probably take 24 hours). 


This recipe makes roughly 30-33 dishwasher detergent tabs. 


Next, I made citrus vinegar cleaner. What you will need: 

The peels from 1 lemon (one that you used for the detergent tabs) and 1 orange. (I fed my 17 month old an orange for a snack while I made the detergent tabs) 

White vinegar 

One 16-32 oz mason jar 

Start by cutting the lemon and orange peels into quarters and throw them in the mason jar. Then pour the white vinegar into the jar until it is nearly at the top. Set aside for 1 week to let the citrus infuse the vinegar. Then strain. 


I painted my mason jars with chalk board paint and I use a white pencil crayon to write on them instead of chalk. 
The last thing I made was lemon essential oil. I used coconut oil and the last two lemon peels from the detergent tabs. But after making this, I think I will use olive oil next time because it doesn’t harden. 

What you need: 

Olive oil (or liquid coconut oil) 

2 lemon peels 

Cut the lemon peels very small and put them into a 16 oz mason jar. Add the oil and put in a dark spot. Allow Thai to sit for two months then strain through a cheese cloth. 


This diy lemon essential oil will fill 21 15ml bottles (The size that doterra sells), for only $0.42 per 15ml rather than spending $13 for each. 

So there you go, rather than spending $24.50 a month on cleaning supplies you can spend $5.90 to make your own. 

What other products would you like to see recipes for? 

12 Ways to get Started with the Zero Waste Movement — March 10, 2017

12 Ways to get Started with the Zero Waste Movement

Have you ever wondered how to start your journey to zero waste? How is it even possible? Well, there are a few simple things you can do to get started and some tips on how to replace your disposable plastic products with ones that will last and biodegrade when you are done with them.

  1. Go find all your reusable grocery bags. (I know you have some hidden away somewhere….everyone does)
  2. Don’t throw out your plastic bags right away. The point of zero waste is not to make your house a zero waste zone right away and just throw out everything disposable, but to start by using up the disposable items you already have (cling wrap, ziplock bags, plastic grocery bags, plastic toothbrushes, individually packaged dishwasher detergent etc.) Just use it all up and instead of replacing it with what you would normally buy, look for a sustainable option. (the best part is, sustainable options are almost always cheaper, especially in the long run.)
  3. I don’t know about you, but when I started to live more sustainably, I didn’t have the money to go out and purchase a bunch of new glass and metal containers for food, laundry detergent and shampoo. I had some mason jars and a few nice glass jars. If you want to get rid of all your plastic tupperware and make money at the same time, host a yard sale (or garage sale if it is still cold out) and sell all the plastic items you no longer want to make money for the sustainable items that you do want. You kill two birds with one stone.
  4. Start making things for yourself instead of buying them. (toothpaste, laundry soap, spaghetti sauce, pasta noodles, reusable bags, dish detergent, shampoo bars, deodorant, baby powder and household cleaners) There are hundreds of recipes for each of these items on Pinterest. I want to start with laundry soap as soon as my last bit of store-bought detergent is used up.
  5. Plant a garden. This is the best way to get your own fresh produce but if you don’t have the space, farmers markets are the next best option. Grocery stores put plastic zip ties on lettuce and stickers on fruit so this contributes to your waste.
  6. Start composting. Find a metal container with a lid to keep your compost in. About once a week you can empty it into a large compost bin in your yard. My husband built ours out of scrap wood from renovating our house, but you can just dig a hole and start putting it in there or purchase a compost bin from a garden store.
  7. Install a wood stove. This is the best alternative heat source because it does not rely on fossil fuels or electricity (and with the way electricity rates are soaring in Canada, you might have to find a replacement.) This works best if you live where wood is cheap (or free if you have your own bush). It does release carbon dioxide into the air but carbon dioxide does the ozone layer much less harm than its cousin carbon monoxide which is what is produced from natural gas and trees are a sustainable resource. If you don’t feel good about cutting down trees (even dead ones) just think about how the forest also needs to regenerate. If all the trees are large old ones, they will eventually perish and younger ones will need to take their place, but in large old forests, there is not enough sunlight for the small trees near the ground to grow. You are doing the forest a favour by cutting down a few trees to heat your home each year.
  8. Purchase in bulk. If you have nowhere to buy unpackaged bulk food items that you can store in your own containers, check out the largest grocery store near you. They often have a bulk food section which, though small, is better than nothing. Look for foods that come in paper or cardboard packaging rather than plastic and if you can’t find an alternative to a plastic wrapped item, buy it in larger amounts because that will use less packaging. We use the junk mail and cardboard packaging from the products we buy to start fires in our wood stove.
  9. Unsubscribe from junk mail. This will create less waste if you have no fire in which to burn your junk mail.
  10. Stop accepting disposable packaging from anyone. Bring your own container to restraints to bring home your leftovers. If you go to a family reunion where you know people will give you gifts or leftovers, bring your own reusable bags and containers.
  11. Tell other people about the zero waste movement. They will think you’re crazy at first but eventually the idea will rub off on them.
  12. Go to your library and check out books on sustainability, homesteading and zero waste. a few of my favourites are: Plastic Free by Beth Terry, Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (She has also done several TED talks on living zero waste) and Homesteading  in the 21st Century by George Nash and Jane Waterman. You can also check out podcasts right from your phone. I have a few favourites: Cohesive Home Podcast and The Sustainable Living Podcast.

So get started today and don’t push it off. I made the decision one night and I have not regretted a moment of it. Do you have a favourite book or podcast pertaining to zero waste, sustainability or homesteading?

Going Plastic Free — March 7, 2017

Going Plastic Free

Week one of our journey to zero waste went really well. I sewed a bunch of produce bags, slowly started getting rid of plastic items in my kitchen, started using up my stash of plastic bags to line my garbage pails, cleaned out my spice drawer and actually made my first trip to the grocery store as a zero waste shopper!

IMG_2263

Here are a few of my most used spices in little glass jars. The jars do have plastic lids but it is hard to find all-glass jars for your spices. In the future when I purchase more spices, I want to do so in the bulk section of the grocery store and store them in small canvas bags until the jars need to be refilled

IMG_2265

Here is a photo of my metal fruit basket. I bought this at the dollar store (it was originally being sold as a hanging plant basket). I just bought my fruit at the grocery store this time, but as summer grows closer and the snow starts to melt, I would like to shop for all my fruits and veggies at the mennonite farmer’s market down the road as well as use the veggies that I plant in my garden this year.

IMG_2266

Here are my glass/metal containers for pasta and baking needs. I do have a pasta maker for my kitchen aid that I have never used but I plan on making my own pasta from here on. So this is the last of the grocery store wanna-be pasta.

IMG_2308

These are my babies. My lettuce is regrowing from it’s roots and will be transplanted in the garden this spring. The other glass jar contains apple and lemon seeds that i am trying to start inside a wet kleenex (since we ran out of paper towel, I have not bought any more!). I hope to plant these future fruit trees at the back of my backyard this summer.

Lastly, if you are interested in starting your zero waste journey, these are two really great books to check out! Although, I’m going to state right now that I enjoy meat and I have no plans to become a vegan. We raise and butcher our own pigs, cows and chickens, and don’t worry, they are humanely raised as well humanely killed. We don’t waste any part of the animals and we do respect them for the food they provide for us. I won’t post pictures of that process (As interesting as it is, and a good biology lesson for my kids) because people get very heated about the process even when it is done correctly.

Comment below what you think your biggest struggle would be in going zero waste. Maybe we can up with a helpful solution. But in the end, remember that the goal is to reduce your waste, not everyone can live zero waste all the time. It’s alright to keep using disposable diapers if you hate the idea of washing reusable ones.

The start of my journey to zero waste — February 28, 2017

The start of my journey to zero waste

This past week I made the decision to go zero waste/sustainable living. Obviously with two little kids and a farming husband, it will be a bit difficult (especially since I just cannot give up disposable diapers. They’re my kryponite.)

We want to start with getting rid of plastic in our kitchen. No more cling wrap, no more Tupperware, no more ziploc bags. We are using up the last of our cling wrap and sandwich bags and once we have our annual yard sale in June we will be getting rid of our plastic containers and purchasing reusable silicone sandwich bags, metal lunch containers and glass containers.  We have some now that we are using but we would like to have a few more. 

We also got rid of our tassimo which uses a ridiculous amount of plastic and cannot even be fixed when it breaks. We have a French press for when we make coffee for the two of us and a stainless steel coffee maker for when we have people over (and our family are huge coffee drinkers!) I keep my coffee in the freezer and pour it into this ceramic container from dear nana who passed away last spring. Our sugar goes into the glass container beside it (because my husband cannot live without sugar). 


We don’t have a bulk barn anywhere near us so we have to make due with what we can find at the grocery store and online. For fancy spices, we buy epicure because they taste amazing and they come in some pretty cute reusable glass containers. 


I have begun to use up our hord of plastic bags as garbage can liners for the bathroom and bedrooms and then we will start composting more and buying items with less to no packaging. When we moved into our house there was no recycling bin and even after being here for a year we still haven’t gone to get one. We will be going very soon to the municipal office to find one! 

We are always forgetting our reusable grocery bags at home when we go grocery shopping but we need to get into the habit of bringing them along. I also started sewing drawstring bags for produce and baking goods etc. You can even bring along your glass containers with you to the store. If you weigh them all ahead of time you can write the tare on the bottom in permanent marker so the cashier knows how much weight to subtract when they weigh your flour and sugar etc. To make my drawstring bags I rooted through my scrap fabric box and found some old curtains that I cut into squares with the part where the curtain rod goes through at the top so I could lace my drawstring through there. It was super simple (especially since I don’t have a sewing machine). 


My next big step is sourcing sustainable quality fibres for my business. If I am doing sustainable living at home I want it to extend to my business as well to really show everyone my goals and why I have them. 

If you are interested in sustainable living and how to do it when you work from home or if you have little kids running around like I do, subscribe to my blog and follow along our journey with us. We would love to hear about how you are making the move to live sustainably. 

Maple Syrup Season — February 16, 2017

Maple Syrup Season

Well, it’s almost that time of year again; the time of year where the farmers with hard sugar maples start getting ready to tap their trees. Every year my husband and I and the kids go to his grandparent’s farm (only 30 seconds down the road from us) and we spend the month of March tapping trees, collecting sap in buckets and lugging them back to the sugar shack on the four wheelers. We can usually take off 1-2 batches a day depending on how many people are there to help.

My grandfather-in-law plies everyone with a concoction of maple wine and hot boiled syrup every few minutes and my grandmother-in-law is always busy cooking up pancakes and sausages on the propane stove for everyone to eat. Basically, the only thing we eat in March is sausage or bacon with a side of pancakes and doused in maple syrup. (The experts say that maple syrup actually has more antioxidants than blueberries so I’m not too worried about a rounded diet for the kids for that month and I’ve got to say, we’ve never been sick in March).

This afternoon my husband and my two-and-a-half year-old took off with great-grandpa to the mennonite store that sells maple syrup supplies. We need a new filter and some extra buckets for this Saturday because the sap is coming early this year! Check out some of our photos from previous years and keep your eyes out for the ones yet to come!