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It seems almost anything can be certified organic. Organic produce and other foods are a given, but even t-shirts are now being made from certified organic cotton and you easily find organic shampoos and lotions. What could be left? How about the traditional Christmas tree.
New Seasons Market, a locally owned independent supermarket with 15 locations in and around Portland and Vancouver, Ore., is testing the sale of USDA and Oregon Tilth certified organic Christmas trees at six of its stores. The retailer placed an order for 300 trees to be delivered in 100-tree bunches beginning in November from Harmony J.A.C.K. Farms Inc., the only certified organic Christmas tree farm in Oregon. As of Dec. 12, about half of the trees had been sold.
New Seasons is selling Noble and Douglas firs up to 6 feet with prices ranging from $35 to $45 per tree.
“While other tree farms might be using natural or sustainable practices, Harmony J.A.C.K. is the only farm in the state to take the extra step of getting USDA and Oregon Tilth certified,” said Katie McConahay, floral merchandiser for New Seasons Market. “For both Harmony J.A.C.K. and New Seasons Market, this is the first year selling Christmas Trees. It was a great opportunity to work together and learn whether it would be something customers wanted. The pilot has been a great success. Our customers love the convenience of having trees at the store and the confidence of knowing they are sustainable, safe and beautiful.”
Non-organic trees are traditionally treated with pesticides and herbicides that remain on the branches and needles after harvesting and can release toxins during handling or from the heat of tree lights. Bet you’re rethinking your Christmas tree purchase now.