One batch of maple syrup was too thick. We do the main boiling of the sap outside and bring the almost finished syrup in the house for me to finish. I think this particular batch was at or almost at the sugar percentage, or temperature that syrup finishes at. By the time I brought it back to a boil in the finishing pan, it was too high a temperature. I filtered it, then reheated to bottle and only half the jars sealed. The sugar crystals started precipitating out by the next day.
The thick syrup is absolutely delicious. It is a wonderful ice cream topping, but it is crystalizing in the jar. I took the unsealed jars, poured the syrup into a pot, and thinned it with some more of the crystal clear sap that is still running. While the syrup was absorbing the sap, I washed and sterilized the jars. When the sap was completely mixed in to the syrup, I reheated it to 219F, and rebottled. This time, all the jars sealed and hopefully I salvaged the syrup.
I went outside to the chicken coop last Monday and found this. The tree was part of a larger maple tree with 3 trunks coming up. Well only two now :). It missed the greenhouse and missed the chair my sweetie was using for last weekends syruping. It fell right in between the two, only managing to take out the wheelbarrow. It was the best place for one large maple tree trunk to fall. I'm a bit sad because I know that shopping for a new wheelbarrow isn't likely on the schedule until after we're vaccinated here as we just aren't going out much at all. It means a little more effort will be needed to expend for gardening chores. The tree trunk is already cut, split and in the drying stacks for future use.
I've moved the winter sowing containers from the deck to the edge of the garden, where it gets a lot more sun. They're on a bench in hopes of protecting the containers from chooks and curious other creatures, including a rather oblivious guy on a lawn mower, just in case we get to that before planting.
Right now there are 2 containers of woad, 1 of chives, 1 of dyers coreopsis, 1 lettuce blend, and 1 with just a couple of tomato seeds. I still have a few more seeds to start outside and the rest of my tomatoes will be started indoors.
I like the winter sowing experiments though, because I get to plant things earlier than I can start things indoors. My experience is that indoor started plants tend to get very leggy and weak stemmed if started too early, without enough additional lighting. This year, I definitely don't have enough additional light.