Support a local farmer and cut a local, sustainably grown Christmas tree this year. Tree growing is one of the few ways farmers making a living in an area highly regulated against industry in order to keep New York City water pure for drinking.
In fact, if you drink New York City water, take a ride upstate, visit the Catskills and shop locally for the holidays. Not only that, the trip makes for a fun, family-friendly event, something that can become a family tradition.
“Folks come here for their tree and you see their cares drop away and their faces light up,” says farmer Gordie Bell of Bell Farms. This gorgeous tree farm has bright red barns, trees growing in stripes and a warm cabin where chocolate milk is dispensed. Gordie’s son Brian adds, “It becomes one big joyous party here after Thanksgiving, with friends meeting friends and even bringing picnics”.
Bell’s also has a colorful annual “Hat and Mitten Tree” drive, decorating trees with donations of visitors. Bell’s also contributes to Trees for Troops, a program that delivers about 17,000 donated trees each year to more than 60 military bases in the U.S. and overseas. Supporting a local farm is its own form of giving, helping ensure beautiful community landscapes, sound environmental stewardship and a thriving local economy.
Catskills conifers did really well this year due to a lot of rain and to this day are loaded with cones.
Here’s a local list:
Bell’s Christmas Trees, 647 Mettacahonts Road, Accord, NY 12404. 845-626-7849. Open every day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve from 9:30am on weekdays, 8:00am on weekends, to sunset (noon on Christmas eve).
Hurd’s Family Farm, 2187 State Route 32, Modena, NY 12548. 845-883-7825.
Robson’s Christmas Trees, 2425 Jim Lane Road, Bovina Center, NY 13740. 607-832-4306. (No cellphone service in that area, so print out the map in advance).
The Elderkin Christmas Tree Farm is a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm located atop Murphy Hill Road, (across from More Park) Walton, NY, 13856, stocking Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine and White Spruce. Options range from 4 feet to over 10 feet tall. Open weekends from 11 AM to 2 PM on the following dates: Saturday 12/2, Sunday 12/3, Saturday 12/9, Sunday 12/10, Saturday 12/16, Sunday 12/17. All trees are $20. (607) 865-4412.
Hawley Family Tree Farm, 4528 Peakes Brooke Road, Delhi, NY 13753.
Fox Hollow Nursery, 2751 State Highway 23, West Oneonta, NY 13861. 607-263-5764.