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.”