As always I am on the hunt for burls! Box Elder, Maple, Madrone, Redwood etc. The west coast stuff. I have kept the hunt pretty local along the I-5 corridor. "
Recently I have had to broaden my search as we grow as a business. With more and more companies and individuals finding out how loyal I am to them and the quality that I put out, the demand is growing."
My son in law Luke and I started on a trek July 16th to find new sources for box elder burl. "
Luke is my apprentice. After he was laid off from his job the family got together and discussed the possibility of him coming on board with me. I needed the help in a bad way and Luke had great interest in burling. So it was a no brainer. Just one concern: could the business support two families? Well with faith in my Lord, Luke’s desire, and my need we all agreed that Luke should come and work with me. Luke and I had a great time getting to know one another... lots of laughing and mentoring. I am continually finding that Luke is a man of integrity and at only 26 years old that reflects on his life pursuit from a young age. Well, I let him marry my daughter!
Back to the burl story... " I can easily go through
5000 lbs a month of box elder burl because of the demand. The challenge is finding good quality box elder burl. I heard that box elder grows all along the Rockies and most people do not like them because of the box elder beetles. Well on this trip I discovered just how bad these beetles really are. Some of homes that we visited were covered in red beetles. I mean everywhere. Each step we would step on 50 or so. Yuck! "
In our endeavors we met Deb and Rich in Great Falls, Montana. They lived in Lewistown but drove the 1 1/2 hours to Great Falls to help their son Evan in a business they started called Bowser Brewing Company. More about that later. Deb and Rich are delightful people
who where kind and hospitable. Their son had a tree that was burled and in their front yard and had been wanting it removed for years. One concern though, it was close to power lines. Even though I have owned and operated a tree service company I did not want to take a chance with the power line.
So we left Great Falls and headed farther east to a small town called Lewistown. This was the neatest town. Small enough where everyone knew everyone. Especially Deb and Rich. Now Deb and Rich are 4th generation residents there in Lewistown. "
They had a small burl in their yard that they wanted out. So we obliged them. It was about 200 lbs and decent quality. They offered the down stairs of their house to us so we did not have to camp outside. This was a blessing to Luke and me. "
So the first evening with Deb and Rich we had dinner that they provided, and shot the breeze for what seemed hours. Now I have NEVER found a beer that I have liked. I know all of you are saying a name of a beer I would like. However Rich has a brewery and I told him that I would try his beer but I would be honest. I did not have any hopes of liking it. You see I am not a drinker of any alcohol. I just have not found any that I like. I think it is the alcohol... LOL! "
So Rich fills me a pint glass of Jalapeno beer. Well I have to say that it was good. Yes, that is right; the first beer I have ever liked was from Bowers Brewing Co. My son really liked it. It only took one glass before I was feeling it. I know I am a light weight. "
So we stayed there for 2 nights fact finding and acquiring some burl. Also found some Russian Olive burl. That was a bonus. "
All in all we made some friends who we know we can have good conversation and beer with. Anyone who is a beer connoisseur should check out their site.
We did not harvest much in Lewistown; however we will be going back. This was more of a fact finding mission. But we did come away with 4200 lbs of burl and good quality burl. So this was a good trip. 2600 miles, great scenery, good times with my son- in-law, and me