Bedner's Farm & Greenhouse

Weekly Newsletter, 12.9.20

Hi friends,

We still have Christmas trees! Word on the street is that many farms and garden centers are already sold out for the season. How can that be? There are a couple of reasons, and the simple answer is high demand + low supply.

Why the high demand? Many of us are home a lot right now, and spending more time decorating for the holidays, and many of us started decorating earlier than usual.

Why the low supply? For one, real trees lost some popularity around 2008 so farmers planted less of them, and we are seeing those effects now. Christmas trees take 6-12 years to mature, and consumer preferences often change more quickly than farmers can adjust.

Also, Christmas Tree farms are closing down across the nation. Sadly this is an issue for every agriculture commodity. The average age of all U.S. farm producers in 2017 was 57.5 years. As more operators reach retirement age, fewer young farmers are coming in to fill their shoes. Smaller farmers warn that a country without local farmers can create problems in the food supply chain. We need to support all small family-owned farms anyway we can.

Why buy real trees, wreaths and greens?

  • Real Christmas Trees provide real business for Real Farmers. 85% of fake trees in the U.S. are imported from overseas. When you buy a real tree, you are supporting the U.S. economy.
  • Christmas tree fields are responsibly managed and planned to protect and maintain hundreds of thousands of acres across North America. Planting more trees is key to fighting the climate crisis. Christmas Tree Farmers are growing a greener future.
  • Whether you are purchasing a real tree from our farm or one another, you are supporting a dream and a family-owned business.

Here’s what’s happening this week:

  • all holiday decor— ornaments, decorative tins, snowmen, and more are 25% OFF. This doesn’t include trees, wreaths, greens or plants.
  • the last of our make + take workshops for wreaths and winter containers are this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. There is plenty of room in our gardener’s workshop space to spread out and have some safely-distanced fun. We’ve had a great response and have enjoyed seeing everyone’s creations.
  • this week we are harvesting a lot of nice tomatoes, dinosaur kale, baby beets, green onions, basil, thyme, and oregano. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, apples, and apple cider is also still available. I’ve included another $5 off your produce coupon at the bottom of this email for e-newsletter readers. Just pull up the coupon on your smartphone and show a cashier when checking out.
  • Maddison will be available in our gardener’s workshop this Friday, December 11 from 4-7pm to create custom decorated wreaths. Stop by to have her help you create the perfectly designed wreath for your home or a gift.
  • we’ve had the cutest t-shirts and tank tops designed for fellow plant nerds like us, and they are now available on our website! Here’s how it works: 1) order your favorite shirt; 2) your shirt is created to order within 2-7 business days; 3) our printer ships the shirt directly to your home for a flat shipping rate of 3.99. Note: our tees and tanks are the only items on our website that are shipped. Everything else is either curbside pickup or local delivery. Tees and tanks are available for purchase online only.
  • did you pick up a Challenge Plant yet? They are 6.99 each. Pick one up now, care for it all winter, then bring it back for our judging event on April 20, 2021. Doug Oster will be one of our guest judges. All ages are encouraged to participate.

Can I be real for a minute? Today was rough. I’m not going to sugar coat it and pretend that things are perfect. There was a lot of yelling, fighting and whining with the girls today. The dog was running all over like a wild thing, though she was recently spayed and should be kept calm for two weeks. Urine soaked clothing, a dead animal brought onto the porch by Daisy, and a house in disarray when it was just cleaned yesterday. Phew, I’m in need of a she-cave to escape, (please Santa!). Right now I want to cry but I will count my blessings instead– a healthy family, a mother-in-law to watch our girls so that I can have two quiet office days, a super-talented and dedicated team of employees, a husband who cooks… and the list goes on and on.

To all out there struggling, my heart goes out to you. Stay strong. Count those blessings. Spread your love and light, because the world needs it.

Thank you for the continued opportunity to serve you.
Take care,

Your holiday porch pots and fresh-cut greens can last you through most of winter. Once the holidays are over, remove any holiday bows or “bling” to leave the natural, wintery decor until it’s time for spring bulbs and pansies. Here are some tips to help them last–

  • Keep fresh cut greens outside in the cold. If you bring an arrangement inside as a centerpiece, put it back outside on the porch or patio to keep it as cold as possible.
  • Add moisture, especially when outside temps get unseasonably warm. Misting the greenery can help to add some of the lost moisture back into the cut material, as well as refresh the aromatic scent of the greens.
  • Wilt-Stop, an anti-transpirant, is a game changer for fresh greens. Mist it on your garlands, wreaths, centerpieces, porch pots, cut greens, even your Christmas tree to seal in moisture and stop needles from dropping. It’s an all-natural and non-toxic plant protector that can also be applied to your boxwood, rhododendrons and azaleas to protect them through winter.
  • It’s best to put wreaths on the outside of the screen door so it gets access to cooler temperatures. If you put fresh wreaths between the main door and the screen door, it will create a “greenhouse effect” and can “cook” the fresh decorations.
Need the perfect present for a budding plant parent or avid gardener on your holiday gift list?

Give a plant. Seasonal plants like amaryllis, paperwhites, Christmas cacti and poinsettias are always appropriate, make beautiful living décor, and are easy hostess gifts.  House plants are a trendy gift for all ages.

Pre-made gift assortments. Our Gardener’s Gear basket comes complete with a pair of pruners, gloves, a garden trowel, paperwhite bulbs, and a beautiful plaid planter. For the foodies in your life, our Sweet As Can Be and Happy Hour Treats packages have are perfect.

Graphic tees and tanks for plant loversOur collection of graphic tees + tanks are sure to inspire and make you smile. Screen printed on super soft tees with a unisex fit, you will want to wear them day and night.

Decorative pots, fountains, or statuary for outdoor or indoor use are a playful and practical gift idea and come in a wide range of styles and price points. A hand-decorated planter makes a fun craft project for kids and a cute gift for grandparents. Pots should be functional as well so check for a drainage hole before purchasing. Don’t forget decorative pot huggers.

Invite nature “home for the holidays.” Bird houses, bee hotels, butterfly homes, bird baths and feeders of all sorts attract wildlife to outdoor spaces and enhance the environment. Our Backyard Birder gift package includes a laminated bird guide, a bird feeder, and a decorative cardinal.

Stuff the stockings! Gloves and pruning shears make great stocking stuffers. Gardeners love practical gifts, too, like plant stakes, tags, and ties.

Give an experience by gifting one of our make + take workshops this month. Or purchase a visit to Phipp’s or the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. They both have seasonal displays, special events, and other amenities that make the perfect gift.

Give gifts that make our world a better place.  Happy Holidays!