As we write this, there are still piles of snow on the ground in some areas, and mud in others - March in Vermont! Spring is beginning to show itself in various ways at Cobb Hill.
We welcomed the equinox and the coming light and warmth, the change of seasons, with a small ritual: the lighting of an orange candle in a special spot. It is east facing, partially enclosed and protected, near the bottom of an oversized sledding hill and pasture rock wall border, which divides the property from south to north. The energy of spring is sensed to arrive from the east with the rising increase in sunlight; the lighted candle represents willing reception to this renewal, a rising to the occasion. In this way, we celebrate the new season and the spirit of the land we humbly reside on.
The sap started to flow out of the sugarbush well before the first day of spring. By the time the last tap was set, the sap was flowing, producing 700 gallons that night (February 15th)! Despite the inevitable weather and equipment challenges of the six week season (leaks, broken pump, freezing and thawing, snow storms), we're on track to reach 500 gallons of delicious maple syrup this year. A week ago, local pre-schoolers visited the sugar house, learning about the process, and even trudging up the hill to see the maple trees. It's a sweet time of year here and across Vermont.
Spring also means new life! Eager gardeners have begun sowing seeds in greenhouses and basements up and down the hill and many calves and lambs have recently been born in the barn. Fourteen lambs were born to eight ewes in just over a week (lots of time in the barn for the humans!) and are all doing well - see adorable video! Whipped Cream, the lone Holstein in the herd of Jerseys, gave birth to her first heifer. See her and other Cobb Hill baby animals in a recent edition of the Vermont Standard.