The Sauer family: On target

For anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting the owner of Excelsior, Ron Sauer, they know all too well what value he places above all others; family.

Ron does not take quality time with his family lightly. Every moment not spent working is devoted to making lasting memories. Bonding activities are important, but as a father of three daughters, it can sometimes be difficult to find a hobby everyone enjoys.

Luckily for the Sauer family, one pastime, in particular, has struck an interest within all of the ladies in Ron’s home; the precision sport of archery.

From competing around the country…

…to hunting in their own back yard, the Sauer ladies have shown true devotion and passion for the sport. In fact, their father is not the only one who has noticed!

In the Spring 2017 edition of Out Here, the Sauer family is featured for their unique family tradition.

Out Here magazine is a complimentary publication by Tractor Supply. Published quarterly, this print celebrates individuals who live a rural lifestyle and excel in their communities; the perfect magazine to feature the Sauer family!

You can read this wonderful article below, or pick up a print at your local Tractor Supply and turn to page 57 for the story in hand. Take a look at these awesome ladies, you wouldn’t want to miss their story!

All family image credits: (Hanna Sauer/ http://facebook.com/Hawkeyehannahbowtech)

On Target 

Archery provides tradition, self-discipline, and fun for Sauer family 

by Noble Sprayberry, Photography by Jeff Goulding 

 Bows and arrows are part of the daily routine for each of Ron Sauer’s three daughters as they grow up carrying on a unique family tradition. 

And while Sauer’s girls- Hannah, 13, Rachel, 11, and Leah, 4- do hunt and compete, often earning trophies, he believes the lessons taught be archery go far beyond the ability to fling a shaft toward a bull’s-eye. 

“You can’t be nervous or angry. You can’t have a raised heartbeat. You have to be in control,” says Sauer. “How much better would we all be if ewe could objectively control the situation we are in? In archery, to execute a shot, that’s the state of mind you have to be in.”

The thread that drew his children into the sport stretches back to Sauer’s pre-teen years. He worked on his family’s dairy farm, including the milk plant where one employee was an archer. One day, Sauer took the offer to watch the man shoot and seeing those first few arrows fly started a love of the sport. 

He saw how quickly archery could engage an entire family- it was contagious. Sauer started practicing, and he was joined be his father, mother, and sister.  

“We kind of went off the deep end and we were all shooting every weekend,” he says. “It was the center of our family’s life for five or six years.” 

 Sauer, however, eventually lost interest. Then, work, marriage, and three daughters took his focus. 

 But five years ago, he was joking and bragging to his daughters about his archery prowess.

“I was telling my kids how great I could shoot back in the day, and they told me I should show them if I was really so great,” he says. “So, I went to an archery show with a 20-year-old bow, and I won the competition. That sparked an interest in them, just like it did in me.”

And once again, a family was hooked by the sport. They practice at their home outside Woodstock, NY, where the Catskill Mountains provide a scenic backdrop.

They also hunt and compete. Indeed, both Hannah and Rachel have had success, winning state and national honors.

Hannah, though, finds pleasures in archery that go beyond competition. As her father did when he was about her age, she sees the sport as a way for her family to bond.

“I’m really not very competitive. I just go and make friends and have fun and just try to do my best,” she says. “And I like that you can spend time with friends and family.”

Sauer echoes his daughter’s thoughts. “Archery is a connection point and that’s an important thing in our family,” Sauer says. “If you play a sport like soccer, your dad will eventually get too old to play. But he won’t get too old to stand there, pull a bow back, and fling an arrow down to a target and then hold hands with you when you get the arrow.”

In the fall, Sauer and the girls practice in the back yard, honing the skills needed for winter hunting. Then, indoor competitions begin, followed later by 3D shoots in which targets resemble animals. 

Success relies on a state of mind.

“You have to be very calm and at peace,” Sauer says. “If you learn that through archery, you can do that in life, because archery teaches some of the best attributes a human can have.”  

Is mushroom wood made from mushrooms?!

A question we are often asked when customers are introduced to this rare wood product…Is it REALLY made from mushrooms?  Our answer…technically, yes!

The features that set Mushroom Wood apart from other reclaimed products, such as its’ unique texture and prominent raised grain pattern, are indeed the effects of growing mushrooms!

Used originally to line the boxes of mushroom crops, Mushroom Wood is derived from wooden boards (similar to the ones below) salvaged and repurposed into some spectacular wood products.

Mushroom Farm (image credit: Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farm/http://www.sgsystemsusa.com/pti-labeling-solution/ )

But what is it about mushrooms (or fungi as some prefer) that cause the unique features of this wood?!

The Story…

Fungiculture (the art of growing mushrooms) can be a lengthy process, covering six different stages from composting to harvesting. Mushrooms are not plants, therefore, they do go through the cycle of photosynthesis. Where sunlight is essential for photosynthesis to occur, a moist climate is necessary for fungi to grow and thrive.

Because of the climate limitations, materials used for this practice must be able to withstand high levels of acidity, moisture, and heat to produce a successful mushroom crop. Enter…Cypress and Hemlock!

Cypress Tree Tunnel (image credit: Joe Parks/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/parksjd/9002072932 )

Cypress and Hemlock are two species that stand up to the challenge of mushroom farming. These materials fare well in environments with high humidity and are durable enough to withstand the optimal time needed for the fungi growing process (2-3 months or more!)

During the mushrooms’ growth cycle, the boards are exposed to an abundance of acidity and water released from the compost. These enzymes devour the soft fibers in the wood, leaving only the tough, durable wood behind.

The initial result of the boards living in the mushroom hot box is (for a lack of a better word)…

…a nasty piece of wood! Yuck.

However, after some tender love and Excelsior care, this piece of wood is transformed into…

.

… this beautiful rustic material! Much better.

The erosion of the soft fiber in the wood raises the grain, resulting in a truly unique texture. Once the boards are cleaned and milled (carefully), they can take on a whole new life outside of the mushroom farm.

Upcycling materials that would generally have been thrown away, we take pride in this sustainable product. Reclaimed, untreated wood can be hard to find; Mushroom Wood fits the bid for both.

The light-weight characteristic of this wood, in conjunction with its’ natural resistance to moisture, makes for a versatile product we have used in a number of projects around the shop.

Coated or raw, this material has an ancient beauty not easily achieved by other milling processes.

From rustic doors and custom  framing to siding and paneling, reclaimed Mushroom Wood is a dependable, stunning product, perfect for your rustic dream home decor.

For the love of wood…