We are at the end of February at the farm, hope you all have enjoyed, just as we did, the sunshine we had this week. It makes waking up and going to work much easier, and saves us from being cold and wet in the fields. That’s so much better compared to the beast from the east conditions we had last year.
We seem to be making good progress at the farm, hand pruning the Nordman Firs with secateurs and shearing the Fraser Fir with a knife. It is sometimes hard work to get the perfect, full shape you require in a Christmas tree but every year we get better and trees are looking stunning. The warm weather will probably wake them up out of hibernation and get the sap moving up through the tree. This creates the bud swelling and then bursts into life with new growth. To help the process we need to get all the right fertiliser and elements into the soil the next few weeks, so they can be absorbed by the roots and travel up through the tree, creating a healthy and vibrant Gower Christmas tree.
Our new plants arrive next week, 30,000 of them, so we’ve been busy preparing the fields. It has been particularly testing and costly as some fields have stumps up to 12 inches in diameter and it can be hard work to clear them, but we are getting there. As we say, no problems just solutions. Once the fields are prepared and cleared of stumps the young 4 year old trees will have their best start to their next 8-10 years of growth at Gower .
I have had some feedback from other tree growers around the UK and they all share the great news that the demand for the real Christmas tree is strong. Many have experience increase in sales or same as last year, so the future looks good. We also heard a lot of reports from people buying cheaper real trees from the big retailers that their trees did not last much. Sadly, this is often the case as with any large supermarket, they buy in bulk and from abroad, so trees are cut in early October even. By the time they are shipped, sold and get into your house they are dry dead trees. Very different from the tree that’s cut on same day from a tree grower or smaller retailer who buys of a local farm. We have also got feedback from people who find the whole experience of picking their own tree to be a fun family day out not just a cash and carry affair.
As a sole Christmas farm we have tried recently to diversify our range of services and product in providing glamping pods in a secluded woodland setting with fire pits, hot tubs, play areas down the Gower at Stouthall. We have land and Christmas trees there but sadly our planning was turned down. We shall keep trying , people love the Gower as we do and we want to help locals and tourists alike find a nice place to stay.
We got lots going on at the moment. An Easter announcement is coming soon. I have recently bought some market trader cabins if anyone is interested in trading at the farm during our events throughout the year. I’m always open to ideas and suggestions, as you all make what Gower Fresh is. Off for a run with Dave now to catch a sunset somewhere on the Gower, will update soon.