People in “craft” industries often describe the mystical union of art & science. Art is something to be explored through intuition and a sensitivity to what is trying to emerge. Our cidermaker Matt describes the need to “just go with it” when a particular experiment has a mind of its own. Science, on the other hand, is brought to the table through knowledge and understanding of the way the world works – microbiology, physics, chemistry.
There’s a real beauty in the interaction between art and science, between the unknown and the known. I think this is the birthplace of true creativity.
But what we don’t often talk about, perhaps because it’s not quite so poetic-sounding, is production. Once the craftsperson has brought art & science together to make something cool, it still needs to get packaged!
In my case, I’ve been looking at almost 500 litres of bulk maple syrup since late March. It really was a wonderful season, and a good pound of digital ink has already been spilled in this newsletter describing precisely how lovely it was. Many of you came out and experienced it first hand through our “Secrets of the Sugarbush” experience.
But as the season ended, retiring its unique magic for another year, and as we’ve turned our attention to other pressing matters on the farm, those 500 litres of maple syrup have taunted me. Every time I walk by their storage location, they insist that they aren’t going to bottle themselves, and shouldn’t I probably be getting around to that at some point before it all spoils? It’s quite a thing – trust me – to be taunted by 500 litres of maple syrup.
So I finally got to it, and almost all of it is now in bottles! It’s a lot of mindless manual work. Production isn’t glamorous, but it’s not without its consolations. The cadence of repetitive work, your body moving efficiently and unconsciously, can have a truly relaxing quality. A way of freeing the mind to pursue its own agenda while arms and legs just go on auto-pilot. And on one such flight of fancy, my mind came up with this little piece.
Do you let the syrup sink into your pancakes or do you prefer it running down the sides? Let us know in the comments below.