Friday, February 11, 2011

Tapping Local Resources

We finally took Larry's advice.  We tapped some of our sugar maples.  Walk by a tree and you'll hear drip-drip-dripping until it gets too cold this evening.  It'll resume in the morning after the sun warms the trees.   We'll keep an eye on the buckets, empty them as they fill, and briefly store the sap in shiny new metal garbage cans.

Thanks go to Susan, who brought wood for the fire on which her pans will boil the sap down to syrup, and to Pat, who contributed a bunch of Fresh Step cat litter buckets.  Karen bought a few old-fashioned metal buckets and spiles with hooks, so a couple trees look classy.  She also cut a copper pipe and a PVC tube into 3-inch pieces, to go with the tacky plastic buckets.

They seem to work equally well, the tacky and the classy, as usual -- which reminds me of Burberry scarves for some reason.  Without a Burberry coat, what's a Burberry scarf?  Sort of like a Mercedes with a dent in the side or a broken turn signal lens -- proof that you can't afford the car.

This also reminds me, for some reason, of yesterday's blog ("Keep $$ Local"), which so far hasn't drawn anyone's wrath.  I'm serious, we could have a movement here.  If you're truly upset with giant banks, the kind whose failure could have a systemic impact on our financial system, and you think Congress isn't doing anything to stem their growth or continued existence, walk your money home.  If enough people did this, no bank would be "too big to fail."

"It may remind you," says Virginia, "but what possible connection is there?"

I guess whenever I think of harvesting maple syrup, I think of growing vegetables, milking goats, making cheese, and doing all those other things most Americans used to do at home.  Doing them these days is like money in the bank.  Back then, folks didn't send their money (they probably didn't have any to send) to faraway places and unknown people.  They'd either stick it under a mattress, earning about as much interest as banks pay us today, or trot into town to visit George Bailey.

[By the way, this is my 400th blog entry.  Should I continue?]


  1. We used to bank at Wachovia, seduced by advertising and what seemed like the security of a big bank. After they lost a deposit we made, for which I had the receipt, and refused to do anything about it, we moved all our accounts to a local, even neighborhood, bank. We made sure it was truly local, owned by local people and had never been in financial trouble. We like doing business with our neighbors, knowing that we both benefit the community by keeping it close to home.

    I don't think we can save the world, but we can make good decisions for ourselves and our families whether it be in the food we eat or where we shop or where we bank.

    Just found your blog. Keep it up!