After the Second World War, mountain farmers looking for crops to revive a declining farm economy, began to market trees from natural stands in nearby towns. Mountain terrain was no handicap for hardy evergreen trees. By the 1950s managed stands of Fraser fir and balsam firs had become America’s most popular trees at Christmas. Currently about seven million Christmas trees are harvested from Appalachian farms, from New York to Mississippi. Western North Carolina, with the highest elevations in the Appalachian chain, produces over five million of this total. Though most Americans think of Christmas trees for only a few weeks each year, many mountain farmers are involved year round in the management of a valuable crop that provides a stable income from their land.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Old Christmas in Appalachia Christmas in Appalachia was not always celebrated on December 25th. Whether because calendar reform in 1752 had removed 11 days, turning December 25th into January 6th, or because January […]
- Farmers’ Market The recent growth of farmers’ markets across Appalachia is part of the effort of mountain farmers to survive in a national market dominated by large-scale agribusiness. The Department of […]
- Subsistence Farming Subsistence farming is the practice of families producing most of the necessities of life from their own land and labor. Until well into the 20th century, most mountain farmers raised […]
- Butter and Egg Money Appalachian farm wives contributed to their family’s income through the butter and egg money they earned by taking their extra eggs and butter to the general store. . .
- Apples Apples are a traditional and valuable part of our heritage in North Carolina. The most popular varieties nationwide--Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala--are grown here. In the […]