Many Benefits to Buying Locally Grown Christmas Trees
Buying local often times means buying locally grown food, but in December, it can also mean buying a Christmas tree from a local grower. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.
"When you buy from an independent, locally-owned Christmas tree farm, you are investing in the local economy," said Ray Hansen, director of the Ag Marketing Resource Center. "Growers use the income from tree sales to make purchases from other local businesses that continues to strengthen the economic base of the community."
Nationally, the economy is boosted by more than 15,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and more than 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the industry. Choose and harvest farms have become a popular winter tourism attraction, with more than 5,000 in the United States.
Christmas tree farms benefit more than the economy, according to the Christmas Tree Farm Network. Christmas tree farms stabilize soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife while creating scenic green belts. For every real Christmas tree harvested, three seedlings are planted in its place, which, in turn, reduces global greenhouse gas effects.
To find a local Christmas tree farm, visit the National Food Industry Market Maker website at http://national.marketmaker.uiuc.edu/ or the Christmas Tree Farm Network at http://www.christmas-tree.com/real/.
For additional resources on buying local, visit the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC), a virtual value-added agriculture center operated by Iowa State University Extension and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), at: http://www.agmrc.org/.