But last weekend Aunt Beth and Uncle Bill went for a tree. I got right on board for a first hand view of what it takes to man a Christmas tree lot. Or child labor it, as the case may be. Heritage Farms has jobs for any teen who wants to work.
Cut your own. "We give them a sled and a saw and tell them what field to use. If they come back with a tree we didn't tag in the fall, it's a two hundred dollar tree." OK, then, there are rules! And a lot of fun, too.
Trees everywhere! By the barn.
Beside the house.
On the front lawn, lashed to stakes that held the corn maze only six weeks ago.
The "shaker". It shakes the snow and loose needles from the tree by vibrating it mightily.
The "baler". The trunk of the tree goes in the large end and comes out the front, the tree wrapped tightly in mesh. I watched the boys reach in and grab one or two fist fulls of branches (technique) to bring the tree through.
We arrive, and see Emily finishing up her last sale. (The ground was frozen at 8:30 in the morning, by the way. A lot of feet have tromped through in the subsequent seven hours.)
She sees us.
This way, Uncle Bill. The Fraziers are right over here.
(Yes, blue in Caroline's hair.)
The tree is selected, shaken, baled, a receipt written. To the total amazement of one (at least) cousin, Emily shoulders the tree, takes it to the car. Up, up and away, she hoisted it to the roof.
And commenced tying it down from the roll of twine in her back pocket. She has her very own pocket knife, too.
This was a favorite picture and I thought I lost it! Caroline and Francis (behind Emily) studying technique. Emily has just made a knot she can use to pull the twine through and get good tension against the tree. Francis demands the knot's name. "I don't know. I learned it. I do it. Next customer, please."