- it didn’t cost an arm and a leg because we opted for a small one
- I decided to go with the red ball ornaments, blue lights and iridescent tinsel
- the tree itself comes from one of the member growers in Oregon of the Christmas Tree Coalition
Let’s clear something up right away – yes, that is an ornament featuring the character of Captain Jean Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and that is indeed an ornament of the Deep Space Nine space station from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For an explanation of why my Christmas tree has spaceship [and related] ornaments see this week’s Forbes.com article, “Holiday Helpers.” In the second half of the article I explain this.
In years past we’ve spent the greater part of $100 on a Christmas tree – they aren’t inexpensive anymore if you want a tall one. Some years we do want a tall one. This year, however, I wanted almost a Charlie Brown tree – some small little orphan tree I could love and pamper. My husband brought home this little guy that barely stands 5′ tall. And it didn’t cost much which fits this year’s budget.
The tree came with a two tags, one had instructions for how to trim the bottom of the stump and prep it for the tree stand. The other tag was information about the Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers. I have never heard of this coalition previous to this and feel this is worth mentioning. The tag “…certifies this tree was grown on a farm that was evaluated by an independent auditor using the following criteria [expanded on from their website]:
- Riparian/Wetland Management – focus of this element is on the measures taken and management practices employed to protect areas adjoining streams and waterways….
- Soil and Water Conservation – goal must be to minimize soil losses through conservation tillage and other erosion control practices….
- Nutrient Management – Care needs to be taken to use the proper fertilizers and amendments to provide for the needs of the trees while not applying in excess so that it ends up in waterways….
- Pest Management – Implementation of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is a critical step in environmental protection. While such a program does not exclude the use of chemicals, it includes careful pest monitoring and identification, determining acceptable pest thresholds, and treatment with the least toxic products….
- Worker Health and Hygiene – A key part to raising quality Christmas trees is a healthy, productive staff. Employee safety and well-being is always a priority…. [author aside: how often do you read on a business’ website that they also care about the well-being of the employees?]
- Biodiversity – includes practices that support and enhance biodiversity throughout the farm. Soil micro fauna, such as bacteria and fungi, break down soil organic matter and help maintain soil quality while recycling nutrients. Many insects are beneficial and prey on agricultural pests. Increasing biodiversity on the farm not only benefits wildlife but also the farm itself….”
Here is another reason I’m pleased with our tree this year:
- our purchase as consumers helps this business – that of sustainable, environmentally-conscious tree growers
I write about small and home-based business as well as other business concerns in this weblog. One thing I’d like to pass along to every business owner to remember: we are also consumers. The free enterprise system [capitalism] is not so much a give-and-take system as it is a we-have-to-help-one-another system. I’m a business owner, but I’m also a consumer. At its most basic it can be described this way: you have a business making chairs. I have a business making hammers. You purchase hammers from me. I purchase chairs from you. As a business, I need you to need hammers. As a consumer, I need a business from whom I can purchase chairs. We all need to help one another in a free market system.