Do you remember when you were younger when you went out and chopped down a Christmas tree, and cut down some branches to make beautiful decorations? Well, you can still do that, because here in Chatham-Kent, we have a number of Christmas tree farms as well as a winter berry farm.
Christmas trees are grown as a crop on tree farms. For every tree harvested, there are 10 more coming along, otherwise the farmer could not harvest each year.
Christmas trees are, except for cultivated forests, the most environmentally friendly crop around. This is because a tree is harvested only after 10 years. To ensure future harvests, 90 per cent of the farm must remain in trees all the time.
So what happens with Christmas trees after the season? Here in Chatham-Kent, trees picked up by Progressive Waste Solution as part of the curbside contract are combined with the rest of the garbage and go to the Ridge Landfill for disposal. Real Christmas trees are completely biodegradable and will, on their own, break down and return their stored nutrients to the soil.
All residents are encouraged to participate in the diversion of their trees by delivering them to one of nine leaf and yard depots located throughout our municipality, where they are ground up and re-used for mulching material.
Here in Chatham-Kent, we have six locations where your family can experience cutting your own Christmas tree.
1. Blacksmith and Tin Christmas Tree Farm, 14880 Goodbrand Line, Highgate (519-809-1003)
2. Ivan and Doug’s Out on a Limb Tree Farm, Fargo Line, Blenheim (519-676-8446)
3. Puddleford Tree Farm – 12360 Magnavilla Line, Kent Bridge (519-692-5181)
4. Sloan’s Christmas Village & Tree Farm (Emerald Acres) – 29876 Zone Road 7, Bothwell (519-471-4691)
5. Watson’s Christmas Trees – 7102 Grand River Line, Chatham (519-354-7271)
6. William Sloan’s U-Cut – 30718 Zone Road 8, Bothwell (519-695-3525)
How many of you have ever heard of winter berries? Warriner Winter Berries has two acres of the crop and you can now buy the finished product for your Christmas decorations. This is the work of Lynne, Nick and Paul Warriner from the Blenheim area.
The winter berry is a deciduous bush in the same family as the holly. The berries come out in August and turn red in October. After one to two hard frosts occur, the leaves fall off and the berries are harvested from mid-November to mid-December.
You can purchase the winter berries at Sarah’s Farm Market, The Glasshouse Nursery, Ross’ Nursery, or by appointment with the Warriner’s (519-401-0414).
Why not take your entire family out for a great winter experience? Cut your own tree, buy some winter berries, and enjoy the beauty of this season. You will have great memories as well as giving support to our local businesses.
Think about this – The Christmas season is not so much about the gifts we give or the gifts we receive. Christmas is about the gift of Jesus Christ.
Just some food for thought.
Here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’