Summer 2017: Honey Bees, Summer Harvest, and Award-Winning Maple Syrup

A tractor & hay tedder in a hay field
Summer is in full swing at the farm and we’re starting to reap the benefits of this year’s steady mix of sunshine and natural irrigation (rain). While it’s been tough to string together long stretches of dry weather to harvest hay, the bale totals have been strong this year. Folks who have driven by the farm have seen the white stack of wrapped round bales grow significantly and we’ve been delivering square bales all over the local area.
Even when we’re not mowing, drying, or baling hay in the summer there is lots happening at the farm. Here’s a quick update on a few other notable summer items:
  • For the third year in a row there are honey bees at Windswept Maples. Melissa now has three hives that are busy working the fields and forests doing the critical job of pollination while producing honey. If it’s an especially productive summer for the bees we’ll be able to harvest a portion of the honey in September (making sure they still have enough to feed themselves throughout the winter).

  • The barns are actually pretty quiet this time of year because all of our cows and sheep are out grazing. Each group of animals gets rotated to a new piece of pasture every couple of days where they enjoy grasses & legumes like timothy, orchard grass, clover, and alfalfa. Jeff hosted a group of folks from the US Department of Agriculture recently and shared our approach to rotational grazing while they used our pastures to conduct an internal training session for a group of natural resource professionals.

  • Customers always tell us that our maple syrup is the best they’ve tasted but it was great to get recognized recently by a more objective set of testers. Last week, Jeff & Melissa accepted the first place ribbon for Windswept Maples Farm's entry in the Merrimack County contest for the annual Carlisle Award. This entry is now eligible to compete for the state Carlisle Award which is presented in January at the NH Maple Producers annual meeting.

A wet spring in the northeast was good for some crops but it also slowed early growth for others. While our tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash are just about ripe the sweet corn is a bit behind schedule. Everything should be ready by early August at which point we’ll open the farm stand up. Stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram for updates on when the sweet corn arrives. As always, we have plenty of maple syrup, fresh eggs, frozen steaks, and ground beef available. Keep us in mind as you plan your summer BBQs and potlucks.