Rockin’ Around the (Organic) Christmas Tree
WHEN I STARTED farming, 52 years ago, I knew it would take 15 to 20 years to plant Christmas trees without chemical fertilizer sprays and colors. Most commercial trees are sprayed with deep dark green. We get requests to mail the trees. We won’t do that because of the carbon footprint. If anything, we’re a little too idealistic. We started renting live trees in pots. They’re cedars. So, it doesn’t look like that perfect tree. Plastic trees are very questionable. A lot of people want a tree that looks like a plastic tree. They want a tree that has a certain look. We defy that.
The heat this year is the hottest on record. The irony is that in the rural area where the farm is, my neighbors don’t accept the concept of climate change. They’ll say, “Oh Mike, these are shifts, it’ll come back.” I keep getting arrested at climate change demonstrations. I went to Fire Drill Fridays and got arrested with Jane Fonda. You have to do this, to call attention to things.
I hope to give people solace, and connection with the earth. Just the joy of a fresh-smelling tree — it’s something hard to beat. If you go back to Germanic times, there’s this concept of bringing a log from the woods into the house...bringing greenery into the world. Now there are serious questions about how long that might continue. I would hope for more concern, more awareness. There’s an old Jewish story: “If the Messiah comes and you’re planting a tree, finish planting the tree.”