Buy Local and Get Your Kids Outdoors — A Christmas Tree Tale

Buying your holiday tree from a local farm.
Families can mark their trees with a red ribbon and return later to cut them down.
I’m always on the hunt for creative ways to enjoy family time outdoors. As a busy parent, I’m also always looking for clever ways to make our family “To Do” list fun.

We’d set aside last weekend to do our holiday decorating, so as the weekend approached and the weather forecast was good I suggested to my husband that we check for a local tree farm where we could select and chop down our own Christmas tree.

We’ve often bought cut trees from local vendors, but I can’t say for sure the trees themselves were local. I’m a big supporter of buying my food local, straight from the farmer so it only made sense that I should take that next step and buy my tree straight from a local farmer, too.

Although it was our first time cutting our own tree it won’t be our last. The kids had a ball wandering the land in search of the perfect tree for our family. Inevitably we’d find “the one” only to find that it was already claimed by another family, shown by a red ribbon tied on it.

"The one" at Blue Heron Tree Farm in Centreville, MD.
Our search evolved into part hide and seek, part treasure hunt, but it was all fun. The farm we chose even provided us a saw and cart to use, so even the work was easy.

Beyond the fun we had, I feel good about our choice because during their growing cycle these trees provide oxygen, as well as habitat for many types of wildlife. Also the leftover tree can be recycled to mulch or left as a snag, a dead tree that provides habitat for wildlife.

We also supported local farmers Harriet and Ed Caporin, owners of Blue Heron Tree Farm. Buying local helps our economy and, in cases like this, it keeps the land as a productive farm versus over-developed.

Outdoor fun. Adventure. Shopping local. The smell of a fresh cut tree. If any or all of things lure you to buy a local Christmas tree, you can find a farmer near you by searching the National Christmas Tree Association directory.

‘Tis the Season from the National Wildlife Federation: