The Star-Herald

Family Farm II

Last week’s article discussed the contributions of family members, a full complement of “backup singers” who make our farms swing to the beat.  Hardworking offspring are never so appreciated as they are at Salmon Brook Valley in Perham. Joan Connolly and her husband, Roger, have every reason to be proud of their operation and their product, but Joan makes it clear that in her mind, the best crop they have produced is their children.  

When you speak with Joan, she cheerfully shares a trifold brochure designed to entice Maple Weekend visitors in March, but the leaflet is equally interesting and informative in the summer months. Every photo in the brochure features an adult “child” demonstrating the necessary work required to capture syrup in a container.  Whether it is drilling a tap in the sugar bush, stringing and maintaining plastic line in which the sap is delivered to the sugar house, or endless hours splitting firewood into small, uniform pieces to feed the evaporator a steady, consistent diet, those young people are “on it.”

Joan is the first to admit that while she and her husband are the owners/operators of the sugar bush, it is their offspring that make its continued existence and success possible. Pride of place and product is matched by pride of progeny in Joan’s voice when she talks about how often they come to help and how hard they work while there.

Visit with Joan on Saturday morning at the market between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Arranged on her table is silken amber in both fancy glass and plastic jugs, along with products that reflect maple syrup in other guises.  While the bottles probably remain unopened long enough to get to their intended recipient, those moose pops might not even make it home.

In your own kitchen, French toast or pancakes with real maple syrup vastly improve any morning.  However, if you have the necessary tools, consider making a batch of waffles for your family. All those nooks and crannies will hold an extra helping of maple goodness harvested from Aroostook County trees.  Enjoy.

Low-fat Walnut Waffles

In a large bowl, combine:

3 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Beat together 4 fresh eggs and 1 quart buttermilk, then gently blend the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Pour ladlesful of batter into a hot, greased waffle iron.  Serve with warm maple syrup.

The Presque Isle Farmers’ Market president for the 2018 season is Deena Albert-Parks of Chops Ahoy Farm in Woodland. For information about participating or visiting the market, contact her at hoctrainer@aol.com.

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