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Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention

 

 

 

 

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Sunday
Dec042011

Organic Yuletide: The No Pesticide Tree

In maintaining a pesticide-free body, a logical extension would be a chemical-free abode.  While it has become quite easy to do that with cleaning products, fabrics and other materials, I have found it extremely difficult to find an organically grown Christmas tree each season.  Even amidst the Hudson Valley where organic or certified naturally grown food from the small farm has become easier to find, Christmas trees grown without pesticides are a rare find.  Most people don't realize that keeping a tree or other holiday greenery in the home can be potentially hazardous.  Holiday greenery is commonly sprayed with over 25 different pesticides known to be dangerous to either the environment or human health. 

This year's web search was successful.  In Dutchess County in the town of Red Hook, New York we found Benner Tree Farm owned by Bernadette Knopfli which she maintains as a side business with the help of her 3 children and 1 year old blue Doberman Max.  Though not organically certified, no pesticides whatsoever are used in killing weeds or in preventing various diseases or predators (deer and insect) from attacking the trees.  Her six acre property grows Colorado blue spruce, White fir, Douglas fir and White spruce trees of different sizes and shapes.  You pick the tree and cut it down yourself ensuring that you have the freshest, longest lasting tree. Bernadette tells us that she plants anywhere from 500-1000 saplings each spring. 

We chose a 7 foot Colorado blue spruce which took six years to grow.  This year's rains were actually beneficial to the growth of these trees even though neighboring food farms suffered, spruce trees instead suffer from droughts.  

 

Much of the work during the year is cutting the grass around the trees constantly and Bernadette is entertaining the idea of keep a resident goat to do the work while fertilizing the trees but the big question is, do goats eat the trees?

Our chosen Colorado Blue Spruce Charlie cut himself finds a home at Hook Mountain Growers Wherever you live, we hope you do a little investigating on your own and support any number of farms that may grow either organically or without the use of pesticides.  Not only will it benefit you and your family's health, but a local organic tree is beneficial to the environment and the local economy.

 

Visit Benner Tree Farm and enjoy some hot apple cider from Mignorelli Farm with Bernadette and Max at 179 Benner Road, Red Hook, NY 12571.

Phone: 845-835-8220. Alternate Phone: 914-466-5722. Open: Saturday and Sundays from 9am to 5pm

 

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for the reminder Pam! I was going to be lazy and just get a regular tree this year, but not with 25 pesticides!! I think Blooming Hill Farms has organic trees also.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Harmon

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