Mid-Season Update from the Sugar House

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Primal Woods Pure Michigan Maple Syrup – In the Making

I’m hoping and praying we are a little shy of the mid-point in this maple syrup season, at least as regards maple syrup production, but I think it’s likely that we are at about that point.  I plan for sap flow for 4 to 6 weeks from initial tapping, and we tapped February 16-18; gee whiz, now that I look at it we just passed the two week point.  Seems like it’s been a lot longer than that!  Okay though, I’m grateful for at least the possibility of more sap flow in front of us than behind us.  There is a little break in the action here, no evaporation today, and it looks like we are nearing the end of Sap Run 3; I will evaporate the last 400 gallons from Run 3 tomorrow, and that should yield 9-10 gallons of syrup.  And, this break gives us a little time to make some additional process improvements, and to reflect on, naturally, what has gone well, and what hasn’t gone well.  Let’s get to it.

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2017 Year in Review – 2018 Goals

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2017 Year in Review | Lessons Learned in Primal Woods and on the Homestead

Sawyers chalked up some impressive numbers year-on-year, and maple syruping went well in general.  Also, work on ensuring that folks searching on-line for the products and services we offer could actually find us, was greatly enhanced by doing a significant amount of search engine optimization (SEO) work on the website.  And we learned at a rapid pace.  On the Homestead, we continued to improve the infrastructure, specifically in and under the house, and did a much better job of sourcing our food locally.  So what could possibly have gone wrong?  Plenty as it turns out, and that is really where the opportunities lie.  Let’s have a look.

Primal Woods 2017 year in review

What went well, what did not go well; 2017

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What’s Coming from Primal Woods – Subscription Box

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Primal Woods Life Subscription Box

Concept: Primal Woods Life Subscription Box

So, what’s with the subcription box?  Just another marketing gimmick?  If selling what we are up to, what we make, the services we provide, and how we are choosing to live, is a marketing gimmick, then I stand guilty as charged.  I’ll be as authentic as I can. The listing of the reasons, albeit incomplete, will be in no particular order.  “The Box” as I have come to call it, will be sold from our Shop, and at least in my own mind, will provide:

For Our Customers, and Our Community:

  • A “curated” (like we run a museum or an art gallery or something, ha!) box of goodies, hand-picked by us, or of our own making,  but regardless, consumed by us.
  • Access to subscriber-only Blog posts (more on this later).
  • The opportunity to support Our Purpose, which is why we are here after all.
  • Direct access to the suppliers of products or services included in “the Box.”
  • An opportunity to join us, on this mother-of-all-journeys that we are on.
 Our Purpose | Primal Woods

Value – Health – Generosity, In Person – In Community – In Life’s Work

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2017 Maple Syruping Season – GO!!!

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I am calling the official start of Primal Wood’s maple sugaring season as 2017 February 10th.  We got some sap flow yesterday and the day before (Monday-Tuesday) in our five test buckets; they are full in fact.  Today and tomorrow no flow is expected, as temperatures are expected to remain solidly below freezing.  Friday we see the rise from an overnight low of 18ºF to a daytime high of 41ºF; that is a near perfect scenario.  We shall see whether or not flow continues Saturday through Monday, as we do not see sub-freezing temperatures overnight, but then we pick up again with a nice cycle from Tuesday morning through Friday of next week.  Today and tomorrow will be maple syruping preparations and tapping.  Here we GO! Read more

2017 Maple Syruping Season – Calling the Start

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I have had a few questions about when our maple syruping season will start.  We are just now diving back down into the sub-freezing temperatures, after more than a week of unseasonably warm January temperatures, as can be seen in the one-week history table, we have had no temperatures below freezing.

One-week history from S. Haven station, 16 miles to our norhwest

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2017 January – Deep Winter, So What?

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Central Boiler firebox after a 12 hour burn; overnight low 8°F

The wheel barrow full is about a 12 hr load-out at current temperatures

I suppose we all have those periods of time, when we are losing sleep because we have so much going on in our lives that it seems incredibly daunting to even consider what needs to be done to satisfy all of the needs.  So it has been for me in recent days.  It helped to put together the 2016 Year in Review post, and the goals for 2017 that it documents.

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2016 Year in Review

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What a year.  It seemed so long, and at the same time it was over just as it was getting started.  I suppose that is the nature of making big moves, physically, as we moved to Michigan full-time, and in business, as we started up the Primal Woods trio of businesses.  We also undertook some much needed home renovation and improvement projects.  And I’m only scratching the surface.  Some things went better than others; most failed to meet my decidedly optimistic hopes.  Still, we are standing going into 2017, and I would say better in every regard for the experiences of 2016.

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