A real Christmas Tree means several things to me:
I love how you can get a subtle smell of the Christmas Tree as soon as you open our house door.
I love how going to get a Christmas Tree is a family tradition of ours.
And I love how it is a way to support a local farmer, as well as our local economy.
In November a few of the North Iowa Bloggers and myself traveled to the Carlson Tree Farm located in rural Coulter, Iowa (and only six miles away from my house!), for our annual Christmas Wreath workshop. While at the Carlson's I got to talking to one of the owners, Cathy Carlson, about their harvest season.
When I think of harvest, I of course think of fall when we harvest our corn and soybeans. But for Iowa's Christmas Tree Farmers, harvest time is Christmas time - mid-November through mid-December.
Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states and there are around 100 Christmas Tree Farms in Iowa. Every year there are around 39,500 Christmas Trees harvested in Iowa.
While I get to harvest my corn and soybeans five to six months after planting, Christmas Tree Farmers have to wait six to twelve years before being able to harvest the seedling they planted. One interesting thing I learned too was that for every harvested tree, Christmas Tree Farmers plant two to three replacement seedlings. Now why do they do this? Well, not all trees survive til harvest and some don't grow into the ideal look that everyone wants for their Christmas Tree. This is where I think the Carlson Tree Farm has gotten innovative and has really captured a niche experience, Christmas Wreath workshops.
By the end of this week, the Carlson Tree Farm will have led around 300 Christmas Wreath workshops. Participants are able to come in, use the scrap branches (those trees that aren't going to make it as a large family Christmas Tree) from a few different breeds of Christmas Trees to create an unique wreath. You are also able to choose from the wide variety of decorations and adornments to customize the wreath. Besides creating your own one of a kind wreath, the workshops are a great excuse to get together with friends. Now, if you aren't able to claim one of the coveted workshop times, Carlson Tree Farm makes other wreaths that are available for purchase throughout the season.
What's your favorite reason to buy a real Christmas Tree? Remember to Comment for a Cause!