Fresh Trees

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We are happy to announce the tree fields will be open for the first time since the fire. We are working hard to ensure that your special Christmas Tree is ready when you are.

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Extended Peach & Apple Orchard

fruit-orchardWe cleared out the new area for our extended peach and apple orchard – it was all briars and scrub trees before.  We are also putting in a new grape orchard. We planted 47 more peach trees and 42 grape vines. And, we are about to start raising quail to sale for eggs.  Last but not least self reliance classes starting at the farm in April.

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History of Christmas Trees

newtraditionsLong before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.

In 1846, the popular royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree. Unlike the previous royal family, Victoria was very popular with her subjects, and what was done at court immediately became fashionable—not only in Britain, but with fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. The Christmas tree had arrived.

By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling. The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while the German-American sect continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies.

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Bear Hugs For Seniors

bearhugsChristmas can be a lonely and sad time of the year for senior citizens in nursing homes. Some of these residents do not have visitors or family to share the holidays with. It is a blessing to see the smiles and laughter a simple Teddy Bear can bring to these residents. Some giggle, some smile, and some cry tears of joy. It is truly amazing.

We will be accepting New Teddy Bears during our normal operating hours. On Dec. 23rd we will take the bears to local senior citizen’s homes in our area.

We hope that you will help us spread some Christmas Cheer with people who truly need to feel loved and appreciated.

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Christmas Tree Trivia

Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.

In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done in honor of the American hostages in Iran.

Between 1887-1933 a fishing schooner called the Christmas Ship would tie up at the Clark Street bridge and sell spruce trees from Michigan to Chicagoans.

The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Washington.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition began in 1933. Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, brought the Christmas tree tradition to the White House.

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony now held every year on the White House lawn.

Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has given a Christmas tree to the President and first family.

Most Christmas trees are cut weeks before they get to a retail outlet.

In 1912, the first community Christmas tree in the United States was erected in New York City.

Christmas trees generally take 6-8 years to mature.

Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.

100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry.

98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms.

More than 1,000,000 acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.

77 million Christmas trees are planted each year.

On average, over 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre.

You should never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace. It can contribute to creosote buildup.

Other types of trees such as cherry and hawthorns were used as Christmas trees in the past.

Thomas Edison’s assistants came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees.

In 1963, the National Christmas Tree was not lit until December 22nd because of a national 30-day period of mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.

Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons.

In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day.

Tinsel was once banned by the government. Tinsel contained lead at one time, now it’s made of plastic.

In 1984, the National Christmas Tree was lit on December 13th with temperatures in the 70s, making it one of the warmest tree lightings in history.

34 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced each year and 95 percent are shipped or sold directly from Christmas tree farms.

California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina are the top Christmas tree producing states.

The best selling trees are Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, and White Pine.

Christmas Tree Care

Use these tips to keep your Real Tree safe, alive with a fresh pine scent, and providing beauty throughout the holiday season:

  1. If not setting your tree up right away, store the tree in water if possible and out of the sun and wind.
  2. Make a fresh cut off the bottom of the trunk one half inch from the bottom just before putting in the stand. Keep the tree’s stand full of water at all times, checking the water level daily.
  3. The stand you use should hold at least one quart of water for every inch diameter of the trunk after the tree is in the stand.
  4. Don’t add anything to the tree’s water. Research has shown that plain tap water is by far the best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss.
  5. Place the Christmas Tree well away from heat registers, space heaters, fire places, wood stoves, televisions, computer monitors and other heat sources. These will speed up evaporation and moisture loss of the tree.

Selecting the Perfect Tree

Everybody pile in the car–it’s time to go get the Christmas tree! What a great tradition! You can be sure to select the best tree for your holiday with a little advance preparation.

Before deciding the size of tree you want, consider the room in the house where the tree will be kept. Your ceilings must be high enough to accommodate your tree, the tree stand, as well as treetop ornaments. A 7-foot tree usually works fine for rooms with 8-foot ceilings. Higher ceilings will accommodate taller trees.

You’ll want to select the freshest tree available. Generally, fresh trees have a healthy, green appearance without a lot of brown needles.

To test for freshness:

  • Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand.
  • Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal. But, you should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground.

Now you’re ready to select your tree! Check out our page on tree care to keep your tree fresh through the holidays.