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Organic Holiday Trees Are a Growing Farming Niche

The buy local and help the farmer movements are expanding nicely for organic foods and all kinds of earth-friendly products. Yet the traditional Christmas tree without pesticide sprays is still a challenge.

Six years ago an assignment took me to a Texas farm for a certified organic tree. The next best thing was wild harvested in northern or west coast states. The search was for a Beverly Hills family with a chemically sensitive child. It wasn’t easy then to find a non-sprayed tree in any state, much less a certified organic one.

Fortunately today, the importance of community and farming for sustainable lifestyles led some smart individuals into creating nifty web sites that help. One that integrates holiday trees and wreaths with many other products is Green Promise.

The Green Promise site provides a list of organic Christmas tree farms, including low-spray and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) trees. Some of the farms are certified organic or practice organic methods, but are not yet certified. Sometimes terms are to cut your own, or pick one out and they will cut it for you. All farms in their database are verified. Currently there are organic tree sources listed in 20 states. Compared to six years ago, that’s terrific!

LocalHarvest is primarily an American organic and local food site, but they offer listings for season trees and wreaths as well. Their nationwide directory helps people find products from family farms, local sources of sustainably grown food, and encourages direct contact with local farm managers. Their online store also helps farmers develop markets for their products beyond their home region.

A listing found on LocalHarvest is Christmas Trees 4 Small Spaces, pictured herein. That makes replanting easy, eh? Stylish and practical idea!

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Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on www.ChicEco.com, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

5 Comments

  1. This is quite helpful – I wanted a real tree but live in a tiny town and the trees available are icky. They have been sprayed with green coloring!

  2. Great. Helpful article. Good references. Could be updated and reposted each November/December. Finding and encouraging locally grown and organic trees is a challenge.

  3. Comments appreciated! Yes, this should be addressed each year, & a bit earlier in November. Meanwhile, tree farm managers hopefully take note. Baby organic trees make a lot of sense for celebrating the season!

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