2019 P52, Week 15. Syrup, Creek Loving Boy, and Fort Wayne Trip. Elyse Rowland Photography.

Week 15 already!

I thought it fitting to share my recent Instagram post about these little beauties below…

”A little back story on our syrup, since I’m sitting here reflecting on how so many of my life dreams have culminated recently. We started this little syrup endeavor about 5 years ago with just a few taps & each year we’ve added more. In February, the fun begins. We got the syrup stove ready, cleaned the basin, cleaned our buckets and taps, installed them, and then waited. In the waiting period, our boys helped us collect wood & gather glass jars and tops, and then we waited again. 

When the syrup starts running, we get our real workout in, gathering all the clear sap and pouring the buckets into a giant food-grade tub. Then 2-3 times per week we spend an entire day from sun-up to sundown boiling. If Kyle’s working, he starts the boiler fire at about 5am, and then I set a timer on my phone for each hour throughout the day to go stoke the fire, add wood, and continue adding the clear sap. The boys help with each step, and our 4 year old especially loves sifting the floating foam and debris from the top of the boiler. It’s a time of year when we wouldn’t usually spend much time outside, so I use these opportunities to explore our land in between caring for the fire and adding sap. We walk down by the creek and toss stones, “tightrope”-walk on fallen trees, and observe the seasonal changes. For me, this is homeschooling in this season— learning math and science, reading and writing in very real ways through the chores that accompany our syrup season. 

It’s such hard work but it makes me smile so big... It’s our seasonal rhythm. At the end of each syrup day, the boys help us boil the syrup down to the final temp (it has to be just right or it will be too runny, or harden like candy.) We double-strain each batch to remove as many impurities as possible & then quickly top the jars. This year I took it a step further and photographed and blogged about our syrup adventures, and created a label for sales. I love that I can use my design degree in so many ways, and that this gift of photography expands to so many areas of my life.

And in case you’re wondering...
We still have some syrup for sale: $20/quart or 2 qts for $38.”


Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m Elyse, the face behind Elyse Rowland Photography of Southwest Michigan, near Kalamazoo.

I currently offer both in-home documentary and outdoor lifestyle sessions. I customize each & every session to my beautiful client's lives, and I'm able to give clients my full attention by only taking a small number of sessions each month.

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