Besides being my favorite time of the year, when the seed catalogs come, it is of course, also the Christmas season. I like to keep things simple during this season, but it is looking like Christmas around the Little Homestead.
The stockings are hung.
This week the temperatures dropped, and today it snowed almost all day.
Earlier in the week, we visited a local tree farm, and the ten year old single handedly fell this year’s Christmas tree. Never mind how she is dressed. Yes. It was cold that day. My struggles to get her to dress appropriately for the weather are fodder for another post.
This post is about Christmas trees. If you put up a tree, do you get a real tree or a fake one? Personally, I love the real thing. I haven’t owned a fake one, ever. Before kids, trees were picked off a lot most years. After kids, the experience of cutting your own became part of the family traditions. For many of the years living on our larger homestead trees were picked from our woods. The were always uneven, sometimes scrawny, but those trees were probably my favorites for their wild beauty, for the simplicity and experience of the harvest, and because they were free.
The oldest child is home from college on break. He is in intern in the sustainability department at school and has become much more aware and interested in the topic. After we cut our tree, he brought up an interesting question. Are real trees or fake trees more sustainable?
Perhaps there are studies on this topic. I’ll admit we did zero research. His instinct was artificial trees were better. My first response was that a real tree was more sustainable. Real trees help clean the air. Pines grow relatively quickly and can be replaced. But then we talked about how they are grown commercially. How much fertilizer, herbicides, and fossil fuels are used? And I had to concede that he had a point.
In the end we had to agree that harvesting from our own forest had to be the most sustainable, but sadly we no longer live in our own forest. Next best would be growing our own, the way a grow everything else, sustainably. So you know what that means. . . I need to plant a patch of Christmas trees. And you know when the best time to plant a tree is right? Perhaps, in this case, spring would be a better choice.
On a side note, I don’t think that cat cares at all what kind of tree we have. What kind of tree do you have?