Two days ago I woke up to a covering of snow at the farm, as you can see from the pictures it looks picturesque. For us living in South Wales this is rare occurrence as snow doesn’t stick for long in Swansea. Which is why, every time we get to have some snow it becomes a special occasion. Our reindeer herd is especially loving the weather as so used to this snowy climate and colder conditions in their natural habitat.
Work carries on at the farm with our staff suitably dressed, mainly pruning the trees , fraser nordamn and korean fir at the moment. Each Christmas tree gets pruned or shaped about 8-10 times in its lifetime of 8 years, making it into the perfect shape. Basically, we try to stop the tree from growing upwards and grown more outwards to make it bushy and full.
Nearly 20 years ago I planted the first Gower Fresh Christmas tree, we had a flock of 600 ewes and 200 cattle, so his time of year I would usually be alone lambing those ours in the hands of mother nature and basically dictated to by the supermarkets. It was a very rewarding job and fifth generation of my family to do so, but the supermarkets put end to it being viable and 20hr days are telling on your health. Especially, when we had spells of weather like this which was against the more productive breed and less hardier of sheep and losses occur. Very different to what we have now, we are one of the Wales’ largest Christmas trees farms with the biggest reindeer herd in Wales, which thrives in such conditions, although our 29 reindeer can be as much work as 600 sheep and 200 cattle .
The snow has a great effect on the trees and land killing lots of bugs that have overwintered and definitely improves fertility. Planting will commence as soon as conditions allow. The four year old transplants we are planting will then take another 8 years to grow for customers to then be able to choose for Christmas. I am especially excited with the new varieties we are planting this year, which will grow into perfect trees, at least, that is the plan .
Off to leave to warmth of the office now, to prune some trees together with Dave. Glad no one listens to my singing and good luck to Wales in the Six Nations.