We approach Christmas with Christmas Trees, bedecking the halls, and most of our homes many of us buying locally. Buying a freshly cut Christmas tree or visiting a Christmas Tree farm supports local farmers. Micheal Clements has more:
“Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., has been growing Christmas trees for decades. But, as farm and finance manager Ben Butler points out, there’s a lot of time and work that goes into growing Christmas trees.”
“It takes a really long time, anywhere from 6 to 8 years to get a tree to a marketable height. That aside, it’s just like any other crop. We spend a year or two out getting the ground prepped. We usually plant about 5,000 trees in a year. From there it’s almost a waiting game. We monitor them throughout the years and over the months. We’re happy to be in the Christmas tree business.”
“He explains the benefits of a freshly cut tree over an artificial tree.”
“Buying an artificial tree might be easier, less of a mess and last for a few years, but it’s not renewable plastic – so it has a lot of impact as far as the environment is concerned. That aside, when you buy a freshly cut tree, or a local cut-your-own tree, you are directly supporting the farm that it was grown on or the one you’re purchasing the tree on. Not to mention the experience, I think that’s a big part of it.”
He says engaging with consumers is a big part of their business.
“Being outside DC, just about 45 min, its the most important thing that we do. For a lot of folks, we’re the only real agriculture that they ever come in contact with in our area. We take the opportunity, as much as we can, to educate and expose local families to fresh air and green grass and blueberries and strawberries and Christmas trees. They’re the reason we’re still around and we couldn’t be more grateful for their business.”
That’s Ben Butler of Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland.