Monday, April 17, 2017

Maple Memories

Dear Brianna,

It was so good to have you, your brother, and Shannon home to help during the Maple Festival. I love the wonderful family we have and that we can work together as a team to help move our family farm forward.

It's been in the 60's and 70's for the past several days, and can you believe it dropped back down into the 30's a few weeks ago?! We woke up to a dusting of snow one Friday morning! This weather has certainly been crazy this winter. I think the trees stopped and started about three different times! And we were making Grade A syrup towards the end of the season! It's been different, that's for sure....

Giving the maple syrup a check between tours
But all together, it was another successful Maple Festival. It was great having the new pavilion this year. It was such a huge hit with everyone! It changed the flow of traffic, got folks out of the weather, and allowed us to chat with the guests longer. And having you, your mother, and Shannon set it up like a Farmer's Market? It was the icing on the cake! And thank goodness Sean brought his buddy, Maverick, and Maverick's wife, Courtney, with him to help. It was great having them, and if it weren't for Sean and Maverick helping with the tours and feeding the fires that first weekend, I don't know what we would have done.

I missed having Sean and Shannon home the second weekend, but it was great to work with you and your mom. I'm so glad you made it home that second weekend! And Jamie Will was a big help, too! I'm so thankful he came, and now you have an adopted big brother! The more, the merrier in our Fair Lawn Farm family.

Your mother and I estimated about 1,800 guests each Saturday. Sundays are always a little light, but we still had record numbers of around 500 each Sunday, and we sold out of everything each day! It was so funny when you turned to me during the festival and said “Dad, we've created a monster!” I think you're right! It was definitely busier this year, but of course, we've created a good monster.

And I am so thankful for our friends at Laurel Fork Sap Suckers. Ronnie and Sandy Moyers and their family had sugar water to spare at just the right time, so we had sugar water to cook in front of the guests. Of course, we told everyone where we got the water, then told them how to get to the Laurel Fork Sap Suckers camp. It's all about working together! Plus, it's worth the trip up there just to try some of Sandy's yummy baked goods!

Our smoked cheeses were also a big hit and sold out almost immediately. We've even taken orders for more! I'll be building a new “antique” smoker next week to help with production.

The sight for our new blacksmithing and woodworking cabin!

Before I know it, it will be time to move the first of the three antique cabins to the farm. The first one will be my eighteenth century gunsmithing and woodworking shop. Since the word got out, I've received orders for duck decoys and a rifle, and people are already signing up for classes on rifle building! I'd better get this cabin done soon or there will be some disappointed people.

One of our mamas with her two new twins
Well, I had better get back out to the farm. It looks like the warm temperatures are here to stay FINALLY! Our baby lambs will be happy about that. I'd say there were at least ten that came last week, and there's more to come. Everyone has been healthy and happy so far.

As always, your mother and I miss you and can't wait until you come home again. Speaking of which, when do you think your next trip home will be? Very soon, I hope. Until then, take care. Your mother and I send all our love.


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