Welcome to our Adventure...

We packed up the kids, dog and the trailer and headed out for adventure, learning and helping others. During our adventure we will try to update this site as often as possible to keep everyone interested involved in our travels and to keep a journal for ourselves. The plan is to be working, schooling, helping and sharing on the road for a year.
Please feel free to post comments and questions! Thanks for following!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tours...and 'Tudes

This morning started off pretty well as we chose to sleep a little longer again. For me at least, the Eastern Time Zone is nice at night, but not so nice in the morning. Anyway, we got up and got moving on some school work and Brock work-work and I made some pumpkin bread which actually turned out from our RV oven which was great. Brock and I had determined to go tour Bragg Maple Farm which is just a couple of miles up the road from our campground and we decided to go just after lunch, in the middle of the day. The weather forecast was good for the afternoon and we didn't want to miss it.

The 'tudes popped up among some of the kiddies who didn't not think school should be required and so there was some clashing of wills, but through it all we got done what we could and left for the maple farm just after 1. We packed our rain gear just in case, but the sun was shining and it was nice to be outside.

At the farm, we were ushered into the actual sugaring room where the gathered sugarleaf sap is collected and put into the evaporator so that we could watch a video about the process. It was fascinating. I learned several new facts. For example, a sugarleaf maple isn't productive until about 40 years old, approximately 10 inches in diameter. It has a lifespan of about 400 years! Good thing because the sap is almost all water with only 3-4% sugar and then they evaporate off the water until the syrup reaches just the right viscosity. It takes something like 30-40 gallons of sap to make ONE gallon of syrup depending on the time of year. Pure maple syrup has to be refrigerated unlike the stuff we usually buy at the grocery store that has preservatives in it, BUT you can store it in the freezer because it won't freeze solid and it will still pour at about the consistency of molasses and it will keep indefinitely in there. We got to sample the four grades of maple syrup - Fancy, Amber, Medium Amber, and B (Darkest) to see if we had a taste preference.

The farm also had some bunnies and goats and a donkey and a miniature horse for the kids to look at while we all enjoyed Creemies - soft serve ice cream with maple syrup swirled in. Really good, but VERY sweet and quite the bee attractant.

These goats loved to munch maple leaves and they were pretty vocal and kept butting each other over them.

At the farm, they told us about Cabot's Creamery which was just up the road and gave factory tours and you can learn how cheese is made. Since the weather was still great, we decided to give it a go. It was interesting. Particularly to see the cheese curds and watch the process and hear about how they age it. I think I learned that you get more milk from a Holstein and more butterfat from a Guernsey. There were a few 'tudey issues here too which put a slight damper on the experience for old mom, but I think looking back, I'm still glad we went. ;o)
Silly Cow/boy

Silly Cow/boy #2

In the middle of the tour, watching "robo-cow", a holstein spot inspired robotic arm which moved cases onto a pallet

After the second tour of the day, we decided that we'd better head back to the trailer and get our real work done because tomorrow we are driving halfway to Acadia State Park in Maine. Still trying to wrap my head around this trip sometimes. Can't believe we are actually doing this! Pretty incredible. Thank you, God!

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