St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Gardening Starts

With the abnormally warm spring we pulled up the maple syrup taps this week, cleaned the equipment and just have the bottling left.   We had an average season-- 1 quart of syrup made per tap, so we can't complain.  We only made 20 gallons--one of those years where we were too laid back to put out all of the buckets

 It has been dry this spring too--not much snow to melt and that happened in February.  Hardly any rain so far here on the farm either.  Farmers have started working the fields already.
  I am trying to catch up on cleaning the area behind the barn that last summer we removed the old machinery.  Hundreds of rocks and still more metal in the ground, and lots of tree tops, brush and so on.  Right now, before the grass and weeds get deep, if I can get it so the mower will go over it, then it won't get away from me. 

  Several nights of burning brush and grass, with more to go.  The barnyard was last used for cows in about 1985, and box elders, brush and weeds took it over.  I hope to open it all and turn it into an extension of the orchard -- planting semi-dwarf apples and fencing it all in from the deer.  Lots of work, but I feel pretty good this year, and have the tractors to help out, and Scott sometimes too. 
  My one outside effort this spring has been to campaign for saving the 1909 Polk County Fair Grandstand in St Croix Falls.  The insurance folks say it must be shored up before they will cover it, and the first reaction of both the county board and fair board was to tear it down and use bleachers or maybe a new metal grandstand.  This one is certainly fixable, and is by far the oldest one in the whole midwest (of the smaller wooden type -- 1500 seats).  The folks are at least considering that now.