Between my full time job, my family, and the farm, I haven't had a lot of spare time to blog. I'll try to do better, but I'm not going to make any promises!!
The 2018 Festival will be February 24&25 and March 3&4, 2018.
FYI - My birthday is on March 3 and I expect presents :)
All of the sugarbush is tapped. We have had some great sap weather so far and the extended forecast looks promising. We are casually optimistic for a great syrup production season. We had a great crew this year that completed all of our tapping in 3 days. We made our first syrup yesterday evening. In our opinion, it is the best tasting syrup that we have made in the last 5 years. It is absolutely delicious. We haven't graded the first batch yet.
We always let the syrup settle and send it through the filter before grading it. It looked pretty dark, so I'm going to guess that it is either a darker Amber Rich or a lighter Dark Robust. It always looks lighter after we send it through the filters.
I have everything ordered for the store. Some of the specialty items that we do not have the capability or knowledge to produce ourselves, we order from local suppliers. All of our t-shirts and screen printed items are made by Sampan in Jeffersonville, Indiana. They always do a great job. We have several new colors and items this year in the store. I'm very excited! The maple coated nuts and clusters come from Zachary Confections, also in Indiana. They are always a family favorite. All of our maple sugar and maple candy comes from a local Amish friend. It's always a huge undertaking to get everything ordered, packaged, and priced.
I'm also in charge of the vendors this year. I did it mostly by myself last year, but this year it's 100% me. I'm the queen of spreadsheets and I feel very organized. As of today, I have 21 confirmed vendors out of the 54 currently invited. I believe we will have about 50 vendors this year. The official deadline is February 9th for applications, but I always have quite a few trickle in the weeks before the festival. We have all of the familiar faces returning, along with a few new booths. I'm really happy with our vendors. We have expanded their booth space over the last 5 years and we are able to invite more people in. I think we offer a very unique and diverse shopping experience.
Mason is 5 and is starting school this fall. We also got a new puppy a few weeks ago. He is quickly adapting to farm life. I wish I had their energy. Mason and Ollie both come home from the farm absolutely warn out. They always play in the creek, go out in the woods looking for treasures, and get into all kinds of trouble.
Well, I guess that is the crash course update. Hopefully you hear from me again soon!