Exciting news! Maple Moon Farm is now open as a wedding venue and is accepting bookings for 2018 and beyond! The Maine farm wedding of your dreams awaits with miles of old stone walls, gazebo, fruit trees, numerous berry patches, meandering brook, plenty of grass to spread out on, a 1700s era farmhouse with private suite for the wedding couple, potential for wedding favors sourced from the farm and more. We have partnered with Lulu & Co Event Design and please contact them for more information and to schedule a tour. luluandcoevents.com. #wedding #mainewedding #farmwedding #maine#mainefarms @luluandcoeventdesign
Since we are in the height of the maple season we thought we would write a quick blog post on how to make sugar-on-snow yourselves at home. But first a little history...historically when our great-great-great grandparents sugared they did not make much maple syrup as they lacked sealable containers (such as our current Ball@ jars) and syrup will mold after a time at room temperature. So they sugared...i.e. they collected maple sap, boiled it well past the syrup stage to a temperature that, when stirred, maple sugar would granulate out. In fact, prior to about the mid-1800s the vast majority of Americans made their own sugar (that is until Caribbean sugar became much cheaper to import and destroyed the maple sugar industry) and those who lived in the maple belt made maple sugar. Why sugar you ask? Maple sugar will not go bad at room temperature. It was shelf stable and if these old timers wanted syrup they simply took some maple sugar and added water to it and, presto, they now had maple syrup. So how does this relate to sugar-on-snow you ask? One of the highlights of the maple season in old times was a "sugaring off party" in which they boiled sap to make maple sugar and also had friends, neighbors and family gather for a party. One of the highlights of this party is sugar-on-snow which is maple syrup heated to candy stage then poured on fresh snow. The thick syrup cools quickly on the snow and forms maple taffy! It was traditionally served with doughnuts and pickles (see photo above) to cleans the pallet. It is easy to do at home with friends and family :
-Take a cup or two of maple syrup and heat it on the stove (watch to make sure it doesn't foam over the side of the pot) until it reaches approximately 234 degrees (you will need a candy thermometer). This temperature is key otherwise hot syrup will just melt through the snow if not thick enough
-While heating fill a large bowl or tray with fresh snow.
-Once at 234 degrees pour in thin streams over the packed snow and watch it change almost instantly into maple taffy!
Yesterday we were fortunate enough to meet the folks from the Thatcher Brook Center and have them over to the farm. Thatcher Brook is a adult day program that helps those with special needs reintegrate into the community/work environments by teaching hands on skills. It was a pleasure to have them.
The 2018 Maple season is well underway. We were off to a banner start but the well above average temperatures of the last week or so have slowed things considerably. Thankfully the forecast looks great (warm days and below freezing nights) for the foreseeable future. We will be having our 3rd open house of the season this coming Sunday (March 11th) from noon-3pm (see events tab for more info.) We have had several guest staying at the farm during the sugaring season who have been able to participate in the process of making Maple syrup as part of their vacation. Please see the "stay at the farm" tab for more information.
We have just stared harvesting cut comb honey from our bees here on the farm. Cut comb honey is quite literally a 4x4 inch square cut directly from the honeycomb. You can (and should) eat the honey and the wax as they are quite good for you. It is delicious on warm toast, muffins, pancakes, over goat cheese salads etc. We will be bringing this to all of our summer markets and will have it for sale on farm this Sunday (July 23rd) as we will be participating in Maine Open Farm Da.
Ever wanted to stay at a 1700s farmhouse? Need extra space for visiting family and friends? Need a place to slow down and escape the rat race? Well then come spend a night (or more) at Maple Moon Farm. Our farmstay program is now live and you can find us on AirBnB.com and farmstayus.com by searching for Maple Moon Farm. As part of our farmstay program we have a large bedroom in the original part of the farmhouse with exposed beams, skylight, fans, private bathroom with shower and a private living room space with original fireplace/bake oven, exposed beams, wide pumpkin pine floors, pellet stove etc. These spaces are completely separate from our living spaces. Enjoy several miles of trails on our property, gazebo with Adirondack chairs for watching the sunset, patio with outdoor fireplace etc. As the seasons change we offer optional activities which range from pick-your-own blueberries, maple sugaring, cider pressing, hearth cooking classes, yoga and more. Please contact us for details or book through AirBnB.
We just posted our Shiitake mushroom log workshop which will be held on Saturday May 13th. Please check out our farm events page for more details!
The 2017 maple season is over and overall it was a good season with just over 5000 gallons of sap collected. Spring seems to have arrived suddenly and life is a bit hectic around the farm these days with clean up from sugaring season, firewood cutting, seedling planting etc all happening simultaneously. We also recently inoculated some red oak logs with Shiitake mushroom spores so that we can harvest our own, organically grown mushrooms. We will be holding a mushroom log workshop here on the farm on May 13th (more details to follow). We hope this finds everyone well and many thanks to all our family, friends and visitors who made this past sugaring season a success.
This maple season has been one to remember. With January temperatures will above normal we tapped far earlier than we ever have before. By the end of February we had made as much syrup as we had all of last season (thanks in part to the new tubing system we installed this past fall). However, old man winter has decided to come back in earnest will very little syrup made for the month of March due to below average temps. We had good sap run today and expect a good run for the next couple days before plunging back below freezing. We should have plenty of sap to boil this coming weekend as Maine celebrates its annual maple weekend (March 25th and 26th). We will be open 10am-4pm both days and hope to see you then!
Sugaring season is in full swing and our 1st open house of the 2017 season is this coming Sunday (March 5th) from 1p-5p. Help fire the evaporator, draw off syrup, tour the sugarhouse and sugarbush, help collect sap etc. We will have all of our maple products available but no purchase is required to attend and this event is FREE! Come celebrate the lessening of winter with us!!