My Tree Farm

I get so many inquiries about our Christmas Tree farm, I decided to do a post on it.

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Seeing as how, you know, ’tis almost the season. But first, in other news:

“A STRONG COLD FRONT SWINGS ACROSS BY EARLY AFTERNOON WITH RAIN TRANSITIONING TO SNOW SHOWERS…AS ARCTIC AIR SURGES IN FROM THE NORTHWEST. WINDS FROM THE NORTHWEST WILL GUST AS HIGH AS 50 MPH TONIGHT. THE WINDS WILL DROP WIND CHILLS TO AS LOW AS ZERO TO FIVE BELOW OVERNIGHT.”

The high tomorrow is in the teens, with wind chills in the negatives. Snow all night. ?? Hmmmm….

All the people in my farmhouse say, “BRING IT ON!”

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Back to trees. Right now, the few weeks before Thanksgiving, is a very busy and noisy time on a Christmas Tree Farm. Although trees require care and attention all year long, they require FAR less during the rest of the year, when ’tis NOT the season. That’s when the time is spent hand trimming the trees, scouting for any pest problems, weed-eating and mowing. But now we’re into the time I fondly call frantic fun!

Chain saws roaring, tree balers whizzing, trucks loaded and unloaded.

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This is the back view of my “studio” – the old wash house. These trees were cut in the falling snow.

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At our Farm the trees are trimmed for the last time months ago. We trim by hand, not using large machinery. If the trees were trimmed right before we cut them, like some farmers do, the branches are too choppy to suit us.  My husband and I are Christmas Tree aficionados from way back. We were each nuts about Christmas before we met each other. Then we met and became even crazier about the season. And now that we have a Christmas Tree Farm, whoa! Christmas carols all year long. We heart Christmas everything.

Our tree farm is all wholesale, no “chose and cut.” As much as my husband and I LOVE the idea of a Christmas shop and hayrides and hot chocolate and visiting all day, we just don’t have the time right now that it would take to do that. Maybe when we retire? I also wonder if I would enjoy Christmas MYSELF as much as I do now if I were working all the time in my backyard to create a wonderful Christmas experience for everybody else?

Anyway.

So…a large order comes in. Once we know when the 18-wheeler is coming, the plan is established. The trees from our farm are cut and prepped at the latest possible time, so the tree is the very freshest possible. Trees are cut and baled. And then temporarily staged in a cold, dark barn until they the truck arrives.This is an old barn that we haven’t yet restored. One day! Maybe. If I find that money tree.

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Our trees are Frasier Firs, the most fragrant.

It is one thing I LOVE about living on a tree farm. I get to smell Christmas all year long. Even in the summer when I am walking around the farm, I can SMELL Christmas.

It takes 8-10 years for a tree to reach a good height. Until then, we take the very best care of them that we can.

Christmas trees, an American renewable resource.

And now, for a little Horse Candy. It was 2 years ago, on 11/12/12, when I fell in love this horse. My Soul Horse. I know that he was supposed to come to me and here he is. Living it up. Now, things haven’t turned out exactly like I dreamed they would. I still can’t ride well and he’s still too much for me, but we are what we are. Together. Teaching each other a thing or two about life.

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Now one more thing. One scary thing. There is one thing standing between me and my Christmas decorations in the attic. I went up there this morning to scope out my decorations and my heart stopped. P1160982Now they are in my attic. In my Christmas ornament boxes? In my decorations? o.m.g. How will I ever decorate? I can’t go up there any more. I surely can’t bring snake infested boxes down. You know I can’t stick my hand into a box of wrapped ornaments. This is bad. This very very bad.

In my last snake phobia post, I think the one where I had two snakes IN my house, Farmgirl Friend Nan said something wonderful in the comments. She wrote : “I’ll keep praying for you, that you will have God’s peace and ease around all creatures.”

That touched me deeply. And it HELPED me. Not long after, I encountered a snake in some leaves and BEFORE I freaked out and did my snake scream and dance, I thought about Nan’s words and her offering me up in prayer. And it helped me.

So now, may I ask a favor of you? Will each of you who reads these words do this for me? Say a prayer, wish, petition, intention…whatever you say or believe, say one on my behalf? Use whatever words. I need strength. I need peace and ease around these particular creatures. I MUST get over this snake phobia once and for all. I obviously can’t get them out of my barn or house or yard. Or attic. I obviously will have to CO-EXIST. Because I ain’t moving. And it doesn’t look like they are either. And I really really really want to decorate for Christmas in a few weeks.

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Leave a comment 20 Comments

  1. Rebekah, can I just say that I really love your blog posts? :-) And snakes? I just can’t figure out WHY we have to have them in our world. It just doesn’t seem right does it? Sending warm farmgirl hugs your way to protect you from those evil creatures! – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

  2. As long as your snakes aren’t poisonous, I’m all for sending you strong encouragement to co-exist with them. They can be helpful around your farm, eating mice, gophers, and things like that. Quite useful. But you don’t want the poisonous ones in your house!

  3. denise says:

    oh my! I’m at a loss for what to do with your ornaments in the attic? strong plastic boxes with tight fitting lids for next year but for this year, wow! I liked Nan’s prayer for you and I hope it can continue to help you but I think you need to hire some men who aren’t afraid of snakes to take your boxes out of the attic and open them up OUTSIDE for you AND get all of your ornaments out of the boxes!! Good luck! p.s. I’m scared to death of snakes so I really do wish you the best of luck. :)

  4. Sherry Holmes says:

    Praying for you Rebekah…If I lived closer, I would come up and drag your stuff down for ya. Seriously…just remember that they are as afraid of you as you are of them…Just make a LOT of noise and they will go away from you. I actually don’t mind snakes…non poisonous ones that is…but I wouldn’t want them in my house. No one wants to be surprised by one. I actually released a young black snake from a sticky trap last summer….now THAT was exciting..

  5. kim says:

    Well Ho Ho Ho! This post made me smile from head to toe! Thank you for sharing your lovely Christmas tree farm. The cold temperatures you may keep to yourself as well as the snakes. I’ve done a lot of snake dances of my own, I try, I really try to be patient and peaceful with all creatures but alas I fail on occasion. For whatever good it does I’ll send positive intentions your way and hopefully the ornaments will make their way down to safe ground. Best, Kim

  6. Maria Reyes says:

    I’m with you! I found a small rattle in my Mexico house and I have a big phobia not only to snakes but my fears also with scorpions, oh i found one or two. I have a good eye it seems I scan the floors when I’m there, so I understand how you feel. Don’t worry too much God has a plan for all of us and he will keep you and your family safe. He is a generous and jelous with his creations.

  7. Hello there! Wow!!! Loved reading your post. It’s my first of yours, and it was purely refreshing! Someone posted the link to it on my fan group page, and I did the right thing and clicked the link. So glad I did.

    We LOVE Frasier Firs. It is THE only tree for us. We’ve been buying them from the same little local produce/garden market for many, many years. The owner orders his trees from somewhere out east, but not sure from whom. They are always fresh and lovely and rarely shed needles. He always buys Frasiers. Is there any other kind?

    Your horse is beautiful, um GORGEOUS, actually. I would probably mostly be content to just spend time staring at him and petting his lovely velvet nose.

    Now, the snake phobia. Ugh. I do understand phobias – to a tee. However, mine is/was to mice. I felt like you. Somehow I need to learn to co-exist with them because let’s face it, they do show up at times although always uninvited. I never leave food on the counter, live clean and tidy, and don’t do anything to encourage their entrance – except for live in Michigan, where in the fall it starts getting cold and these stupid little animals for some reason, feel entitled to find a warm hideout. Far be it from me to figure out why they choose to wriggle their way through some unsuspecting crack – somewhere – in our house and make themselves at home. Fortunately, this does not happen every year, but every few. And just recently, in fact. My hubby set traps up between the basement ceiling and the main level floor, and we caught three. That seems to be the end of them. I know – to you, a farm girl, it must seem UNHEARD OF that we wouldn’t have trapped them humanely then let them free outside. BUT…then they would have come back in!

    I must tell you that I did undergo a sort of therapy session for my phobia when I watched a TV show about phobias, and I forced myself to watch this girl who had a rat/mouse phobia endure several sessions to overcome it. After watching that show, I would say I am 60% cured. I was able to reason with myself, go back to where the phobia began, and deal with it on a level I’d never wanted to confront before. It truly helped. But also…I prayed about it, and asked the Lord to help me. Truly, my phobia was pretty debilitating – to the point that if I saw even a photograph of one, it would put me in panic mode.

    I believe God can help you with your snake phobia.

    That said, the guys in your life HAVE to bring down the boxes of ornaments, carry them outside and open them, and go through ALL the ornaments before you so much as even think about decorating your tree. I mean, you didn’t watch the TV show with me, so you’re not 60% cured yet.

    Sorry for the “book”, but I write them for a living, and, sadly, I can’t say anything in 20 words or less. Ha!

    Have a blessed, joyous day, you sweet farm girl.

  8. rene foust says:

    Oh My Goodness!!! I will say many prayers for your peace of mind. Snakes in my attic would surely cause me distress so I can only imagine how you are feeling. I will pray that they find a new place to live far far away from you and that your Christmas decorations are perfectly ready for you to decorate your beautiful home.

  9. Ruth Ann Smith says:

    I am also scared silly of snakes!!!!! I had a neighbor that had a big black snake hanging around and she bought a snake repellent to scatter around her house. Actually in smelling it, it was nothing more than moth balls. Now I don’t know how that would work in your attic during the summer, might get too smelly, but for now, I would be throwing it like crazy up there. I agree with the other post to put your decorations in plastic sealed containers. At least if you can deter them from co-existing In your home, maybe they will move to the barns or sheds or somewhere else, like maybe a neighbor down the road. I know they have a purpose, but not in my world. Good luck, prayers coming your way!!!! Love your posts!!!!!

  10. Margaret Rohn says:

    I feel for you about the snakes. We have them once in awhile in our house too in the basement and lower levels. My husband has tried to use “GreatStuff” but hasn’t found all the places yet as we have had another just last month.

    I will however be careful when I open my Christmas boxes this year as they are stored in the basement up high but that might be where the snakes come in at then drop to the floor.

    I pray for protection also as they will not harm us if we do not harm them. And as long as the copperheads and rattlers stay outside here in Kansas I can handle it somehow.

    Perhaps you should try harness and buggy with your loving horse then you won’t have the fear of being tossed off.

    Merry Christmas

  11. Deanna says:

    Now this really is a little bit discouraging, isn’t it? As it was mentioned previously, let someone else do the unpacking this year and I surely hope that they just find a skin that is shed and not the live ones. Does it get cold enought down there for them to hibernate in the winter? That would give you a little time to relax! :) Moving on, I heard a tip from a friend and as I don’t have snake problems can’t give it a thumbs up but it might be worth a try. She said to spray around your foundations with clorox bleach and that should deter the little critters. I don’t know how often often you need to repeat the process but that might depend on rain washing it away. It might be worth a try. Positive thinking and prayer helped me overcome my fear of mice. Still don’t like them but am not terrified of them anymore. Freedom of worry is empowering! Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

    I was raised around rattlesnakes. We had a healthy respect for them. I rode horses where I know some of them were. Now you know why cowboys and cowgirls rode with either a hand gun or rifle by their side.
    I would deffinantly heed Denise’s advice. Get someone to open the box’s out side or you could get all new ornaments and after Christmas put them in the plastic box’s.
    I do not like snakes either but where I live now there is no poisonous snakes but they still make me jump too. I talk to them and ask them to leave the area that they are in and I go else where until they are gone. I know the good Lord is watching over me as just a short time later they are gone from there. So, yes, I will say a prayer that he moves them for you out of your house and keeps them out side.
    Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving.
    Kay
    Do you ever get any requests for non trimmed trees?

  13. Carleen says:

    I’m saying a prayer for you……I use plastic totes with snap lids for everything…Take Care….HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF YOU

  14. Joy says:

    Beautiful blog. Each time we read your work, we laugh and cry together. The ability to stir emotions is a gift and you use yours with grace. The answer on how to live peacefully among the snakes is the same mixed bag of emotions, both simple and difficult. They are there to stay,as are you, so why not tackle this as you do everything else in your new farm life? Learn everything you can about snakes. Go to your library and read everything you can about your local breeds. Take a class at the community college. Volunteer at the reptile house at your zoo. Learn everything you can about snakes! Watch them hatch, touch them, feed them, nurture them. It will not be easy, the best things in life are hard fought!

  15. Denise says:

    Phobias are awful things – I have a few myself do I know whetr you’re at with your snake one. I will definitely pray for freedom from this phobia. God bless you and keep smiling. Love your posts
    Denise
    Australia

  16. Barn chick says:

    I live in Arizona and my decorations are stored in sheds in plastic containers and sealed cardboard boxes. All must be opened before bringing anything into the house. I wear thick work gloves and have to shake every item to check for scorpions. We spray continuously but there is always one or two that come crawling out as I get into them. I keep my stomper handy to smash them before they can get away. I think I would take a snake over them any day, except we have rattlesnakes, and surely do not want to surprise one of them. Be brave and wear gloves! On a good note, you should not find any mice in the attic if you have a snake or two!

  17. Dena says:

    Too fun! Enjoyed the post and comments tremendously. Prayer-done. My snake story: My 13 year old has been asking for a snake for a pet for YEARS. I continually say no because many years ago the boys caught a black snake and kept it over night OUTSIDE in a covered 10 gallon tank. In the morning IT WAS GONE!!! I have NEVER forgotten that. Those things can get out of anything! So I continue to say no because I don’t want to wake up next to a snake! Can you imagin??? (sorry if this is really freaking anyone out…). Anyway, my son has settled for a menagerie of small lizards and I think they are adorable (in their cages).
    Enjoy the season and good luck with those ornaments!

  18. rene foust says:

    Rebekah I feel your pain and I think about you almost daily and pray that you have overcome your snake phobia and I am ashamed to say that it may be for selfish reasons; because I too have that same snake phobia. If you can do it then maybe I can too. I pray that you are able to overcome your fear but more importantly I pray that the snakes don’t enter your attic anymore.

    • Karen(old cowgirl) Montoya says:

      Rene,
      You have been so kind as to pray for Rebekah and the snakes. What you need to do for yourself is to look at snakes as helpers. Most eat the rats, mice, lizards, gophers, and any other small thing that ruins the lawn and enters our houses. Yes, I have a healthy phobia against them but with Gods help I just move to any other area to let them do what ever they are doing and leave them alone. Yes, I do a little dance and a little scream comes out of my mouth but I talk to it and let it know it will not be harmed by me and again I move on. For Rebekah I suggested she have a man bring her box’s out side and have them open them. I said that because most men do not have our fear. I will pray for you that you can look at a snake not for what it might do to you but what it can do for you.
      May this Holy season bring you peace and love.
      A friend
      Kay (Karen)

  19. Grace Parker says:

    Rebekah – You may know Hank & Frannie Meshorer. He sent your blog to me thinking perhaps we may be neighbors. We have a Christmas tree farm in Ashe County, NC. We do wholesale & retail. I live in Raleigh, NC, but spend a great deal of time at the plantation tending the trees. Our farm is known as Big Meadow Mountain at the Peak. Between my son & ourselves we operate 4 retail lots in Raleigh, NC. Hope to connect with you soon.

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