We built our log cabin in 2006, with the intention of enjoying a comfortable get-away for skiing, cycling and simply spending time with our family. Never did we expect to be making maple syrup!
Visiting a farmer's market we met a kind-hearted, retired engineer and his wife while purchasing maple syrup from their booth. They shared with us a little about their business, and we were intrigued. We were invited to visit their sugar house and see the process up and running. We were curious, so gave it a try in our backyard!
We produced 6 cups of what we thought was syrup the fist year. It was more than a little thin! But still full of maple sweetness. We were hooked.
Over the next few years we graduated from boiling in stock pots on the kitchen stove, to propane and a turkey fryer, to a large syrup pan over a hard wood fire. The process was incredibly time consuming, but we were having a great time sharing with family and friends.
The maple community is remarkably supportive and we learned something new every year. We found ourselves more technical, using sensitive thermometers and a hydrometer to make sure our syrup was the proper density and meet legal requirements to sell it as syrup. We decided to turn our hobby into a small business.
It was time to turn our focus to a name for our business and the style for our packaging. Ironically, as we were hiking through the forest tossing around ideas we heard the familiar jackhammer sound of the Pileated Woodpecker. And there it was - boom!
The Pileated Forest was born!
So, what would a bottle of maple syrup from the Pileated Forest look like? The most distinctive feature of this species of woodpecker is the brilliant red crest across the top of their head, sweeping down the back of their necks. You'll see that the top of our bottles are hand dipped in red wax, to reflect the Pileated Woodpecker's distinctive red crest.
During the summer of 2014 we purchased a commercial evaporator, constructed a sugar shack and increased production exponentially.
We now find ourselves looking forward to the few weeks in the spring when the nights are freezing, the days are warm, and the sap flows freely from the trees. We have good years with an abundance of sap from the most generous of our trees, and other times when Mother Nature just doesn't want to cooperate. Not a problem. we are happy with what our maple trees give us. As a very small syrup producing business, our mission is to keep having fun and to produce great quality maple syrup. So far, goal accomplished.