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Easter almost always coincides with sugaring season. Some years there is an egg hunt on top of the snow, and some years we get more of a sunny spring-like Easter. Thanks to lovely weather this year we not only enjoyed the egg hunt, we also hunted for pussywillows, took quad rides, flew kites, decorated a bunny cake at the picnic table, dug trenches in the mud and of course did some sugaring and tractor work. Happy Easter from Stannard Farm!    

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A favorite thing this time of year is the traditional sugar on snow. Served with pickles (for sour to cut the sweetness), plain doughnuts (for calories to keep from sugar crashing), and sometimes vodka (for.... fun?), it's pure New England spring bliss. The maple syrup is heated to a thicker consistency, then ladled over fresh snow where it candies up into something taffy-like that can be scooped with a spoon or twirled with a fork into a small bite of heaven. And yes, it can be enjoyed while driving a tractor.  

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As the days get longer and temperatures become more moderate, the sap begins to rise. We've spent the last two months tapping and getting ready, and it's official -- sugaring season is here! We did our first boil this weekend, with maple syrup dark amber in hue in sweetly nutty in flavor. Weather is getting colder again, so we'll have to wait for the next boil. But for now, it's enough to know that the sweetest season is really here.

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Nothing brings the family together like a Sunday tapping day. Snowshoes on, drills and chainsaw (for downed trees) in hand, heading out into the crisp white woods. It was also a good day to pack maple syrup in the sugarhouse, and one family member ran to the town hall for a few hours to work on the annual town audit because in small towns, everyone pitches in or nothing gets done. Some of us stayed inside with the next generation of sugarmakers, venturing outside for 10 minute sled rides before realizing it really is too cold to play. Soup on...

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Groundhog's Day has come and gone and it's definitely still winter. The tractors have chains and don't always want to start, the roads alternate between snowy and icy, and the tapping season is ready to begin. At this point in the year, the days are noticeably a touch longer but the idea of spring is far away. Slow cooker meals, hot toddies in front of the wood stove, and sore arms from snow shoveling are part of every week.  We look forward to the coming sugaring season even as we continue to enjoy a northeastern Vermont winter day by day!...

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