A break in the rain this morning, with more rain, ice and snow in the forecast. With April only a couple of days away, Vermont maple syrup producers are experiencing lower than usual yields. It has been almost a week since we last collected sap and boiled syrup.
A couple of weeks ago, a day trip north to East Charleston in the Northeast Kingdom, the least populated corner of Vermont, a stone’s throw away from the Canadian border. A crossroads town, thirty-eight square miles, set in an area rich in forests, lakes and rivers, the general store shuttered. A mill town in the late 19th Century, devastated by a series of fires in the 1920’s. Home to a stone foundation, the remains of a round barn built in 1908, the largest in New England, burned in a fire ten years later.
Our destination, the NorthWoods Stewardship Center, 1500 acres of preserved land, an organization working to enrich the lives of neighbors through extensive preservation, forestry management and education programs. With a deep commitment to the Northeast Kingdom and to expanding educational opportunities for young people in the area. A small group of people, working with a shoestring budget, devoted to sharing and stewarding the land, building hope and promise for current and future generations, in a place of vast forests and great beauty.