Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sugar Maple trees are on tap for syrup season

We are tapping maple trees and have collected 8 gallons. Our kitchen is very humid now as we boil down the watery sap for maple syrup.
The process is pretty straightforward, but you need a little bit of equipment and clean buckets or milk jugs to collect the sap.
Then strain the sap with a mesh strainer before boiling it down to syrup. It takes a lot of sap to make a little syrup, but it's delicious. The ratio is roughly 40 gallons of sap, boil down to 1 gallon of syrup.
Here's a link with step-by-step instructions, maple syrup.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Birmingham-based Cover Crop Ranch to host farming conference

Birmingham-based Cover Crop Ranch and CenterSeeds is presenting the 2016 Value Added Meat Conference, 8 a.m. -5 p.m. Feb. 22 at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center, 5768 East Grand River Avenue in Howell.  
Discussion will be focused on all natural, chemical-free microbiology for better crops and livestock as well as clean run off water from farms.
The conference includes informative presentations by industry leaders such as Aaron Cozadd, chef; Travis Flora, farmer; Joe Yamin, attorney at Lamber Leser; Gino Berrata of Fairway Packing and nationally-known speaker, Jeff Rasawehr, owner of Cover Crop Ranch and partner in CenterSeeds.
The cost is $100, ($50 for CenterSeeds dealers, customers, or a farmer in Howell and surrounding communities). Register at or call Jeff Rasawehr at 419-305-0187,

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gardening indoors

Turnip greens growing in a glass of water.

I've been looking wistfully as my Gurney's catalogs arrive in the mail every week. I saw an article on Facebook about plants that you can start from a piece of vegetable, like a celery crown. I'm growing turnip greens from a sprouted turnip.

The article tells about 16 foods that will regrow from kitchen scraps. Here's the link:
I could order seeds, but it's way too early to plant in Michigan's Zone 5, so I'll have my science projects lining the counter.
In our zone, we can plant spinach, Swiss chard, parsley, kale and other greens as soon as the ground can be worked, mid-March. This year may be earlier, as warm as it's been.
Lately, I've been sprouting Mung beans. It's a nice healthy snack, better than potato chips, at least healthier, especially if you sprout them yourself.
For more information about sprouting, visit or