Spring Time at Shillelagh Glen Farms…

As the maple season winds down – at least collecting and cooking (we bottle year ’round) –  other signs of spring emerge…

trillium.972x546and this, two young friends…

kitten + calf.04.16.2017

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Tapping Time Continues

They say the higher the tap, the sweeter the sap…

red tapping. mayno holding ladderso we do some tall tapping…

red out on limb. mayno holding ladderred tapping on ladder.close up waist up







After tapping, we’re ready to collect a little sap.  This “bucket” will hold about 2000 gallons of sap which will make about 50 gallons of maple syrup.

sap tank

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It’s a Busy Maple Season….Order On-line + We’ll Split the SpeeDee Shipping

It’s all hands on deck during maple season, and that means we may miss a market or two (like today in Milwaukee!).  No worries.  Know that you can always order from our webstore and, if you’re in the SpeeDee zone and select SpeeDee Delivery as your shipping option, we’ll pay 1/2 the SpeeDee shipping cost!  No one wants to run out of McCluskey Brothers Maple Syrup.  EVER!

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Running Behind the Sap

The sap keeps running….

sap.run.clear tap. Roryand so do we….

mayno tappingpat fixing lines

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YES!!! It’s Running!

First tap of the season….


and the sap is running!


Yeah, buddy!


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Garlic Lovers…Here’s the Soup (+ Stock) for You!

A farmhouse kitchen favorite…

Roasted Garlic Soup

  • about 25-30 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • 6 T butter
  • 2 c sliced onions
  • 1 1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
  • about 15 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 6 T flour
  • 3 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 c milk (use evaporated milk or cream for thicker soup)
  • grated cheese (try our beer cheddar, butterkaese or muenster)

Roast the garlic:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Put 25-30 garlic cloves in glass baking dish, add olive oil and salt + pepper, and toss to coat.  Cover with foil and bake until garlic is brown and tender, about 45 minutes.  Cool.  Press individual cloves between fingertips to release garlic and put in separate bowl.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent.  Add roasted garlic and 15 raw garlic cloves and cook about 3-4 mins.  Reduce heat to low.  Add flour and cook 10 mins, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken stock.  Cover and simmer until garlic is tender, about 20 mins.  Cool slightly.  Puree soup in batches in blender.  See Maple Parsnip Soup recipe for thick-towel trick when pureeing soup.  Return soup to saucepan.  Add milk and bring to simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle soup into bowls.  Top with grated cheese.  Serve.

A simple garlic stock from Moosewood Collective’s Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special.  Freeze it – an easy way to add flavor, even when garlic is out of season.

Garlic Stock

  • 3 whole heads of garlic
  • 10 c water
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 potatoes, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 t dried thyme or 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 fresh parsley sprigs

Remove loose, papery outer skins of garlic heads and break them apart into cloves.  There is no need to peel the cloves.  Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.  Strain the stock and use right away, or refrigerate up to 4 days, or freeze up to 6 months.


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Parsnips Riddle? Maple Syrup is Your Answer!

Parsnips in your CSA box lately?  Wondering what to do with them?  Here’s a recipe to help you out.  This soup is delicious simplicity.  We often serve it to the bands that stay with us as part of the Celtic Concert Series.  They love it!  We think you will, too.

Maple Parsnip Soup

3 T butter (or use part sunflower oil)

1 lb parsnips, cleaned and chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 c vegetable or chicken broth

1/4 t nutmeg

1/2 c milk (if you want a thicker soup, use evaporated milk or cream)

1/3 c maple syrup

2 T Dijon mustard (or more, to taste)

salt (to taste)

Melt butter and saute vegetables until onions are translucent but not brown.  Add broth and nutmeg and bring to simmer.  Cook until parsnips are soft, about 40 mins.  Add milk and remove from heat.  Pour into blender and puree* until smooth.  Stir in maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt.

Yield:  8 servings

*Kitchen Tip:  When pureeing hot soup in the blender, work in small batches.  And remember to use the thick-towel-over-the-hole-in-the-lid trick.  You want Maple Parsnip Soup, not a volcanic eruption.  Or avoid the issue altogether and use an immersion blender!  (The thick-towel trick:  Remove the cap from the blender lid and cover the hole in the lid with a thick towel while blending, using hand pressure to hold the towel in place.  The towel will allow steam to escape and also protect your hand from the heat below.)

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Scenes from Shillelagh Glen Farms….

It’s officially spring, but only according to the calendar.  Winter has brought us the usual snow, ice and cold – everything you’d expect and then some, but this winter is a stubborn one, hanging on with a tenacious grip.  Every time we get a bright sunny day of warming temps we start to think the big sap run is just around the corner.  We’re well into March now and have yet to turn that corner.  Luckily, we’ve had a few other visitors to the farm this winter besides the snow, ice and cold.  Take a look.

Continue reading

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Scenes from Shillelagh Glen Farms…

Scenes of farm life at Shillelagh Glen Farms…pictures change every couple of weeks.  

Sometimes what you see depends on your connection.  For example, folks that drive by our farm every day will tell you they see cows, a barn with a lean-to, snow covered fields and woods.  And that’s all true.  But they won’t tell you about the T-Trail; they can’t.  They don’t know it’s there even though they might be looking right at it. 
But we know it’s there.  We know all about the T-Trail, and Red’s Tree, and Plum Pocket, and Old Neddie’s, and Middle Point….  
A farm is full of places that hold special meaning for the family that lives there, the family that spends each day working together, the family whose life is that farm.  Events occur, memories are made, and pretty soon what looks like a field to the passerby is known as Monster Field to the farmers.  
A farm is much more than a fire number and collection of buildings, fields and tractors, woods and animals.  So much more….  

The T-Trail after a fresh snow…this trail runs through a woods, connecting a valley to the ridge above. If you walk the T-Trail…and Miss T does nearly every day of winter…your climb up the ridge through the woods will be rewarded with the open expanse of the fields behind The Chapel. Keep walking and you’ll eventually find yourself at the barn!

Hmm…so Miss T isn’t the only one using the T-Trail!

Company on the rim!

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Scenes from Shillelagh Glen Farms…

Scenes of farm life at Shillelagh Glen Farms…pictures change every couple of weeks.

Sleigh Ride

One of the advantages of farming on the Ridge…snow covered hay fields make great sleigh riding hills!

Downhill Run

Gordo and Big Bird going for the record: longest run of the day. Did they make it?

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