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Dispatch from the Sugarwoods, 2021, Part I

Because it’s so intensely seasonal and labor intensive, sugarmaking has always been something of an economic side-gig. In the vertically-integrated family-farm days, maple was the first crop of the year, the literal seed money for the seed that went into the ground in May. No one was just a sugarmaker, because collecting buckets is so […]

At the Log Yard

Paid a visit to Allard Lumber’s Pawlet log yard today to visit with Dan Wood, who’s a log buyer there. We talked about log prices, Chinese markets, and the art of log grading. It was fun to watch the men scale a load. Logs were lifted off the truck and both sides were displayed to […]

Saw Starting Instructions by Bill Torrey

We got this note today from Bill: A good friend is having trouble starting his saw. I sent him some instructions on how to proceed. I thought you might want to write this down for future reference. They are as follows: I’ll tell you how to start it, but don’t let this get around. First, […]

On the Landing

Ed Legacy’s log landing at the base of Maple Hill. He keeps a woodstove in the little warming shack running during the day – “it’s always between 80 and 120 inside he says with a smile.” At the mill this wood is going to, the prices being paid for ash, red maple, and hard maple […]

Hopeful Numbers

The Vermont legislature asked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund to create an agriculture plan — basically a vision for what agriculture in the state could be in 2030. The plan was released today. It’s interesting, albeit very wonky, reading — see it here. The thing that immediately jumps out are these hopeful numbers that detail […]

Blissfully Normal

The weather in the Valley of Vermont was quiet from the day after Christmas through the first week of January. Each day was largely dry, largely cloudy, largely the same. Daytime highs averaged 35 degrees, nighttime lows 21. Then winter proper descended, and for the next 30 days it felt like what you’d think it […]