Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Christmas, from The Rocks Estate!

From all of us at The Rocks Estate ~ We wish you a very Happy Christmas!

Thanks to all who visited the farm this season or ordered a tree, wreath, or other great items from our online shop. And for you late shoppers, The Rocks will be open through Christmas Eve – so if you haven’t found a beautiful farm fresh Christmas tree yet, c’mon over!

If you’ve already trimmed your tree and are wondering how to get a Rocks Estate fix during the rest of the year, we invite you to visit our New Hampshire Maple Experience at The Rocks, including an interactive museum and a working sugar house. We run Maple Tours in the early weeks of spring, but the Maple Experience museum is open to self-guided tours year-round.

We also have several trails at The Rocks, which are open for meandering and exploration daily. Our new Rocks Mobile Tour allows visitors to use their smart phones to learn more about The Rocks’ history and the property’s current role as the North Country Conservation & Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

So, there’s plenty to explore at The Rocks during the New Year!

Happy holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keeping your Rocks Estate Christmas tree farm fresh

Once you’ve selected your farm fresh Christmas tree from The Rocks Estate, there are a few things you can do to keep it fresh and fragrant through the holidays. When a Christmas tree is cut, more than half its weight is water, so much of keeping your tree happy involves making sure it’s able to take in the water it needs. Here are some tips from The Rocks for keeping your Christmas tree farm fresh!

* Before you set your tree up, cut the bottom ½-inch from the trunk. Then place your Christmas tree in water.

* Make sure your tree stand is the right size for your tree – and that it can hold plenty of water in the reservoir. Christmas tree stands should provide a quart of water per inch of stem diameter. (You’ll find Christmas tree stands, watering spouts, and other great accessories at the farm or The Rocks' online shop.
) * Check the water level regularly to ensure the base of the tree is submerged.

* Keep your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators to prevent excessive drying.

* Use Christmas tree lights that produce only low heat to prevent drying. Lights should be inspected prior to use and replaced if they are worn. And they should always be turned off when you’re leaving the house or going to bed!

* When you’re ready to bid adieu to your Christmas tree after the holidays, check with your local transfer station on recycling options. Christmas trees should never be burned in a wood stove or fireplace, as they create creosote and can lead to a chimney fire.

For more tips on keeping your tree farm fresh, visit the New Hampshire Christmas Tree’s tree care page.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mail order, music, magic and more Christmas!

We’re in the full swing of the holiday season at The Rocks Estate

and hope you’ll join us for some fabulously festive fun! From horse-drawn wagon rides and roasted marshmallows to one-of-a-kind gifts and – of course – the most beautiful farm fresh Christmas trees, we have everything you need to get into the holiday spirit.

If you can’t quite make it to the farm to select a tree from our retail lot or choose-and-cut one from our fields, we invite you to visit our online gift shop, where you may order fresh, fragrant Christmas trees, handmade wreaths, ornaments, gifts – everything you need for the holidays! To ensure holiday delivery, Christmas trees should be ordered by December 15th.

Those who visit us at The Rocks will find plenty to keep them busy and entertained – on the farm and off. A sampling of holiday happenings in Bethlehem includes the Annual Cookie Walk at The Gallery at WREN (yum!) on December 10th, The Magic of Christmas magic show at the Bethlehem Public Library at noon December 10th, a guided Full Moon Snowshoe tour at the Adair Country Inn at 5:30 p.m. December 11th, and Adair’s annual Christmas concert December 17th. The Inns and Arts Tour of the North Country, featuring the works of local artists and receptions at area inns, runs through December 10th.

We hope to see you soon ~ and we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Shopping at The Rocks Estate

We love Christmas at The Rocks Estate! From our beautiful, fragrant, farm fresh Christmas trees and handmade wreaths, to our two shops and our festive activities, we strive to be a one-stop holiday destination.

While you’re visiting the farm – either in person or at our online shop – we invite you to peruse our fine selection of gifts and holiday decorations. With two shops at the farm, we’re sure you’ll find something for everyone on your list!

Our Rocks Marketplace features Fair Trade offerings and unique items from several New England artisans, running the gamut from pet goods and holiday ornaments to jewelry and home goods.

Our Farm Store showcases some of the goods produced from The Rocks during our other seasons, including maple syrup made from the sap of the sugar maple trees on the farm as part of our New Hampshire Maple Experience. You’ll also find jams and jellies, Rocks t-shirts and mugs, ornaments and decorations. The store also sells The Rocks’ famous birch deer, with proceeds donated to Trees for Troops, and pottery from local artisan (and former Olympic ski racer) Joan Hannah.

We hope you’ll make The Rocks Estate a part of your holidays this year!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Open for the Holidays at The Rocks Estate

The Rocks Estate is now open for the holiday season!

Our fields of Christmas trees await you – come search the rows of fragrant firs to find your perfect tree, or select one from our retail lot at the farm.

With plenty of festive holiday cheer and beautiful Christmas card scenery, The Rocks invites visitors to make a day of selecting a farm fresh Christmas tree for trimming, perusing our shop for gifts and ornaments, and enjoying the historic Rocks Estate property during a horse-drawn wagon ride.

The Rocks also has several festive events planned throughout the holiday season…

Our own special Green Santa will return to The Rocks this year, spreading holiday cheer. Children are invited to have their picture taken with our Green “Eco” Santa, who will give the gift of a fir tree seedling to each child. Green Santa will be at The Rocks the following Saturdays: November 26th, December 3rd, and December 10th.

Add a special Christmas touch to your holiday cards this year! Employees from the Bethlehem post office will be at The Rocks each Saturday afternoon and Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. with the town’s special holiday cancellation stamp. Created many years ago, the stamp features a group of Christmas trees reaching toward a bright star. So be sure to bring your Christmas cards along when you come to The Rocks for your tree!

The Rocks is also supporting Trees for Troops again this year. Trees for Troops collaborates with Christmas tree growers throughout the country to provide farm fresh Christmas trees to U.S. military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. This year the program will deliver its 100,000th tree! Check out our Birch Deer during your visit to The Rocks. All proceeds from sales of the Birch Deer support Trees for Troops. The Rocks also offers Trees for Troops teddy bears, sold by the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association to benefit Trees for Troops.

To learn more about what’s happening at The Rocks, we invite you to view our informative YouTube videos – and don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook. And, of course, our online shop is always open!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let the Holidays begin!

The Rocks Estate opens for the Christmas tree season November 19th. We’ll be open daily (except for Thanksgiving Day) through Christmas Eve, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visitors may meander the farm in search of the perfect Christmas tree to cut or select a pre-cut tree from our retail lot. And if you visited The Rocks earlier this fall to tag a tree, you’re welcome to return now to cut your Christmas tree and bring it home for trimming.

While you’re here, we invite you to enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride, browse the selection of wonderful gifts and holiday decorations in our shop, and enjoy a cup of cocoa, roasted marshmallows at our marshmallow pit, and freshly popped corn from Kingdom Kernels Kettlecorn Company. Our wreath makers have been hard at work creating and decorating our fresh evergreen wreaths, and we also offer kissing balls and garland for decking the halls in style!

As always, our Christmas trees, holiday wreaths, gifts and ornaments are available at The Rocks and through our online shop. We have everything you need to Deck the Halls this holiday season!

Stay awhile with our Christmas Memory Package

Take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays with our Christmas Memory Package. With a stay at one of the area’s quaint inns or comfortable hotels, a horse-drawn wagon ride through the historic Rocks Estate property, and a beautiful farm fresh Christmas tree to bring home, the Christmas Memory Package is a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit, whether you’re looking for a family celebration or an intimate mountain getaway.

Learn More With Our Mobile Tour

New this season is The Rocks Mobile Tour – combining cutting edge technology with holiday tradition! Our tour uses Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) to relay information about the fascinating history of The Rocks, wildlife habitat and forest management efforts at the property (which serves as the North Country Conservation and Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests), and the different types of Christmas trees we grow here.

Simply use your smart phone to snap a photo of the mobile tag at each of the 13 stops along the tour, and you’ll have access to historic photographs and staff knowledge right at your fingertips!

To find out more about what’s happening at The Rocks NOW, check out our YouTube videos and "like" us on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Delivering holiday cheer, one Christmas tree at a time

The Rocks Estate will again support Trees for Troops this holiday season. Part of the Christmas Spirit Foundation, Trees for Troops delivers some 17,000 farm fresh Christmas trees to American military personnel and their families each year.

This year, Trees for Troops will deliver its 100,000th Christmas tree!

The Rocks gives 20 trees to Trees for Troops each year and garners sponsorships from local businesses for an additional 100 Christmas trees. We are one of about 700 Christmas tree farms throughout the country that supports the Trees for Troops mission. Last year Trees for Troops delivered 17,224 trees to 59 military bases, including seven bases overseas.

Beyond donating trees to the program and getting other area businesses involved, The Rocks also sells festive Birch Deer at our shop and at Harman’s Cheese & Country Store in Sugar Hill to raise funds for Trees for Troops.

The fifth grade students at Bethlehem Elementary School help our local efforts each year by writing notes to go on the trees and loading them into the FedEx truck to be shipped to military families.

Trees for Troops is a community effort that extends from our corner of New Hampshire across the country and far beyond. We see it as a way to spread a little holiday cheer – one Christmas tree at a time – and to thank the men and women in our country’s armed services, who often spend the holidays away from home and family.

Merry Christmas to all, whether you’re close to home or far away.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mobile Tour Opens at The Rocks

There’s a new way to explore The Rocks Estate! Our Mobile Tour of the 1,400-acre property uses Quick Response (QR codes), allowing visitors to pull up information about some of the Estate’s historic buildings, the different types of Christmas trees we grow here, and the Forest Society’s wildlife habitat and forest management efforts at The Rocks.

Using their smart phones to snap a photo of the QR code (they look like abstract black and white designs) on each sign of the Mobile Tour, visitors to The Rocks are able to access historic photos of the Estate. Some of the codes also share knowledge from The Rocks’ staff about the various types of Christmas trees, helping visitors to determine which type of tree is best for them! There are 13 signs on the Mobile Tour.

“It’s a really fun and easy way for visitors to learn about The Rocks, whether they’re here to select a Christmas tree, visiting our Maple Experience museum, or just exploring our trail network,” said Manley. “History is very important to us at The Rocks, but we try to be a little bit cutting edge, too.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

Online shopping - farm fresh trees, wreaths and more!

At The Rocks Estate, Christmas is always on our minds. If the holidays are on your mind, too, we invite you to let the season begin – by browsing our online shop.

We’re already accepting orders on farm fresh Christmas trees, handmade wreaths, and everything else you’ll need to deck the halls this holiday season, from ornaments and fragrant garland to tree stands and wreath hangers. Order your beautiful farm grown Christmas tree now, and we’ll deliver it whenever you wish, from mid-November to mid-December.

We’ve recently redesigned our online shop to make it easier than ever to place your order for the holidays. Our new shop features a streamlined checkout process, wish list feature, and additional shipping options. And for all you smart phone and tablet users, we’ve added a mobile shopping option, too.

To see one of our wreath makers at work, visit The Rocks YouTube page for a wreath making video. You’ll also be able to watch Rocks Estate manager Nigel Manley tag trees in the field to prepare for mail order shipments.

The Rocks is also open weekends from now through October 16th for folks who’d like to visit the farm in person to tag a tree now and return closer to Christmas to harvest that tree. We open for the regular Christmas tree season November 19th.

We hope to see you – online or at the farm – this holiday season!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tag-your-tree at The Rocks Estate

Autumn is a beautiful time to visit The Rocks Estate! This fall, for the first time in many years, The Rocks will be open for tree tagging weekends from September 24 through October 16 – the peak of fall foliage season. Christmas tree shoppers are welcome to roam our fields to find the perfect tree for holiday trimming, then return any day between November 19 and December 24 to claim and cut your tagged tree. Bring ribbons and ornaments to tag a tree in your own unique style.

To see how the staff at The Rocks tags trees for mail order sales, check out our latest YouTube video.

Tag-your-tree hours are 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. During that time, our Marketplace at The Rocks and the farm store will also be open for early holiday shopping. The Marketplace features items from various New England artisans, as well as Fair Trade items, from pet goods and ornaments to jewelry and home goods. The Rocks farm store is filled with local syrup, produced from sugar maples on the property, along with jams and jellies, Rocks t-shirts and mugs, ornaments and decorations. The store also sells birch deer, with proceeds going to the Trees for Troops program, and pottery from local artisan Joan Hannah.

While you’re looking for that perfect Christmas tree, you might also check out the New Hampshire Maple Experience museum, located in one of many carefully restored buildings at The Rocks. The self-guided Maple Tour leads visitors through wooded trails to the museum, where you may take a virtual tour of the sugaring process in The Rocks sugar house, then visit the adjacent museum for hands-on learning about the history and evolution of making maple syrup and sugar.

Also new at The Rocks this year is our Mobi Tag tour. Using your smart phone, you may scan any of about a dozen Tags located around the Estate to learn about the different types of Christmas trees we grow – and which one is right for your family – as well as some of the fascinating history of The Rocks Estate.

We hope to see you this fall!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Learning New Tricks

Rocks Estate Manager Nigel Manley attended his 15th National Christmas Tree Association conference last month, gleaning information on the latest tricks of the Christmas tree growing trade. Nigel, who is the NCTA director for the New Hampshire-Vermont Christmas Tree Association, was one of more than 400 Christmas tree growers from around the United States, Canada, Mexico, and England to attend the convention in Ohio.

Among the tidbits he picked up from this year’s convention – which he shares with his NH-Vermont associates – were ways to use social media and other new technology to boost marketing efforts, the latest news on the national Trees for Troops program, and information on growing the increasingly popular West Virginia Balsam (also known as the Canaan Fir).

“Only a few farmers from New Hampshire and Vermont are able to attend the national convention, so my role is to bring home the latest techniques for everything from pest control to marketing to share with our member farmers,” said Manley. “The information shared at the convention is important to our local Christmas tree growers. The impact for our local growers learning about these things is huge.”