Friday, December 7, 2007

Trummsbury Farm Christmas Trees

I’m always so pleased when farmers at the market share tips with me. After all, they not only know their crops better than anyone else could, but they also get to know each other’s products in a way no casual shopper ever can. So when Luke from the River Garden flower farm (whose flowers are by far the most fresh and extravagantly beautiful you’ll see at the city’s greenmarkets) told me that the best Christmas trees are brought to market from the Adirondacks by Trummsbury Tree Farm, I knew I would look no further.

There’s nothing worse than bringing home a Christmas tree and watching it dry up and droop before the holiday even arrives – who knows how long it’s been cut by the time it reaches the corner deli. And yes, our delis sell Christmas trees in New York! But this morning, when my husband and I went to choose one from the Trummsbury stand in Union Square, some of the trees still had a powdery snow frozen in their branches.

The fragrance and variety were magnificent: Frasers and Douglases stood in towering rows along with rarer species I didn’t know. One in particular had needles that smelled of oranges when we crushed them in our hands. You must tell me if you know what kind of tree that was.

We chose a particularly bushy Douglas – I have a penchant for chubby Christmas trees – and, as my husband headed for the subway, Kevin of Trummsbury Farm gave me some sage advice for keeping the tree alive as long as possible. His directions were utter simplicity:

1) Use room temperature water – warm water and cold water are both going to turn room temperature in a few minutes anyway.
2) Water the tree copiously during its first few days at home – that’s when it drinks the most. Afterwards, make sure it has plenty of fresh water so it can drink whatever it needs.
3) Keep the tree next to an open window or a cool mist humidifier – heating dries it out.

That’s it! No sugar water, no 7 UP, nothing. And the Trummsbury Tree Farm makes it a point to plant more trees than they cut, so supporting them helps the environment too. They can be found at the Union Square Greenmarket on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays, they also sell fresh wreaths, swags, and garland, and they deliver for free.

Tonight our home finally smells like Christmas. Happy tree hunting!


marisa said...

Amanda! So glad you're back and I hope you had a nice break. This is such a wonderful post.

Wendy said...

Fun post! I've had the same tree for four years now. It's in a big pot so after Christmas I put it in the garden until the following year. Suspect this will be its last year of coming into the house though. It's getting BIG!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Marisa, thank you! It's great to hear from you, and it's nice to be back!

Wendy, that's fabulous! In 20 years, you could end up with a whole grove of former Christmas tree you've planted in the garden!

Joanne Rendell said...

what beautiful pics of the tree! maybe you could reproduce the pictures and print them and make them into cards and wrapping paper??

Maryann said...

Amanda, It was so nice of you to visit my blog today. You are always so kind and encouraging.
I live upstate, as you know, and I'm partial to our tree farms. The cut trees came to market here 2 weeks ago. Here, we recut the bottom of the trunk, keep it tied, and in a bucket of fresh water until it nears the time to bring it inside. Then water everyday (and they sure do drink a lot!)I love the smell of greenery in the house as well. So many good memories of holiday times and gatherings come sweeping back to mind. Happy Holidays Amanda :)Will you be posting christmas in the city photos? I can't get down there this year.

Annemarie said...

A huge tree has just gone up at work, and I love taking unnecessary tours past the main entrance just to breathe in some of the pine-fresh scent. We inherited a fake tree when we bought our house (what a bonus!) and though we use it it does set my teeth on edge a bit.

Barbara said...

I can imagine the smell. Wonderful pine. We are not having a tree or any celebrations at home as we are in the middle of packing to move to Australia on 20th December. Did you take the tree home on the subway?

Figs Olives Wine said...

Jo, thanks! I think that's a brilliant idea! Wrapping paper like that could be especially cool. We must pow wow on this... ; )

Maryann, your site's looking great! I'll bet the whole keeping the tree outside bit works wonders! I've only been told to do that with Balsam (until right before Christmas b/c they dry out so much more quickly than other varieties), but of course it makes perfect sense to do that with all of them! It's so lovely to have ours in the house - I just wish Christmas lasted longer!

Annemarie, there's nothing like that scent, is there? Makes me so happy no matter what chaos is going on around me! That's a great bonus with a new house, by the way!

Barbara, why is it that so many otherwise sane people wind up having to move right before a major event like Christmas?! I feel for you my dear! I had to move a couple of weeks before my wedding. I remember a deep feeling that I was performing at maximum capacity. One more tiny thing to handle, and I was going to snap! I wish you lots of luck and a very Merry Christmas in your new digs!
We're very lucky to live near the market, so the delivery guy just had to walk a couple of blocks with the tree, and I waited at home with cup of tea in hand. It was all very civilized indeed ; )

Anonymous said...

Pretty tree! I like the cookies.

Cynthia said...

Those are some very useful tips! Happy holidays!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Anonymous, thanks! Unfortunately, we keep eating them ; )

Cynthia, I'm so glad you like. I hope you have a wonderful holiday too!

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