Saturday, January 31, 2009

Colorful Accent, Snowless Thoughts

Saturday, Jauary 31, 2009

A quiet morning here on the mountain. 9 degrees and calm save for Karl the Wonder Dog, laying in front of the stove and providing an unmelodious tune of snoring. For some reason he has taken to sleeping there and anytime he returns from outside he sits in with his back to the stove so he can warm up. Dog intelligence doesn't register on the Stanford Binet or the Wechsler but perhaps it should.

Today's list is too long to possibly get through but there are some things which have to happen. I just looked at the weather radar and even that is having trouble loading today. The storm that is scheduled for Tuesday, whether arriving as rain or snow, will encourage people to stay in bed. There's just too much moisture in the heavens not to cause problems. This means I absolutely have to take care of the roofs and fire up the tractor today. The roads and drives are too narrow now and out front here there is no place to put any snow. The truck only pushes so high and the tractor only reaches 11.5 feet. Much to do.

Bigger problem at the top of the list is the maple syrup mystery which has to be solved. One of the things about Alex and his experience with autism is there are certain foods he eats regularly. For ten years now he has eaten pancakes for breakfast. Sometimes he'll even deviate from his fish-for-supper routine and haddock turns back to pancakes. This translates to needing lots of maple syrup.

Vermont has the best syrup in the country. Trouble is that production is influenced by a ton of variables and environment and weather are two. This week we looked for syrup at stores and on the Internet and supply is getting short until the trees run again this spring. When you find a popular website that says "Down for reconstruction" that means they have run out. I usually buy our syrup locally and I try to make our purchases from Gadapees in Danville. A couple times I stopped and Diane wasn't home and I haven't been to St Johsnbury for a while so I don't even know if she has any left. At any rate I have to solve this maple mystery today. I know I'll have to close my eyes to the price if I end up at a tourist store someplace.

As clear and white as the landscape is today, Gail is working over the daylily inventory again. There are a few daylilies that we sold too many of. It's a careful line between saying no and keeping sufficient stock to grow on versus making one last sale. Gail will fuss a little but she'll come up with some replacements from someone if she feels the demand warrants spending the money.

So on a morning that is white with snow and a sun that is in its "red in the morning, sailors take warning" phase, best wishes for your day. Mine will be busy. The daylily named Mallard is up top and down below here are Luz de Sol, Janice Brown and Jungle Beauty. In real life, each of these is a little brighter than the pictures.

Writing from the mountain where the first flock of grosbeaks has arrived for breakfast. That sounds good to me too!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm


lynn'sgarden said...

George, great daylily pics...especially love the yellow Luz de Sol (is this available from your nursery?) My list is almost finalized so I'm ordering soon..Hope you found the maple syrup you were hunting down. My neighbor "makes" his own from the cool is that!

George Africa said...

Hello Lynn;

Yes and yes. We have the daylily for sale and I found some maple syrup. The picture doesn't do justice to the daylily which by the way isn't on our current website but will be on the new one.

I'm already wondering about the maple syrup business this year because the snow is so deep in the woods that the trees will take forever to warm up come spring. The syrup was $56 for a gallon for those who aren't plugged in to the pricing on this. To me, making syrup is like growing Christmas trees or running a dairy farm--you never get paid enough for what is involved. You'll never, never hear me complain about the price of a gallon of milk.


PtCakes said...

For maple syrup try Burr Morse at Morse Farm in Montpelier. I think the website is

Liisa said...

Your daylilies are lovely. I just love the last one, "Jungle Beauty." This spring I will be searching for "Alluring Peach" - have you come across that one?

George Africa said...

Hi Liisa;

Couple things. No, we don't grow Alluring Peach. I'd go right to Viette's as that's where it originated from.

Jungle Beauty is much better looking than the picture I sent. Looks great in a clump and over time it puts out a bunch of blooms. Looks very good with bright yellows like Carolyn Criswell or Big Bird or the smaller Bitsy


George Africa said...

Hello PtCakes;

I found the syrup (thanks!) and am familiar with Burr. I enjoy his newspaper articles and have Sweet Days and Beyond in our collection here. For those that want to take a look, try

Maple sugaring will be tricky this year at the rate the snow is stacking up.