By Dana Rogge, Public Affairs and Outreach Specialist, Missouri FSA
For many families, the holiday season kicks off with picking out the perfect tree. Everyone bundles up in their winter coats, hats and gloves and takes a hay ride through rows of green beauties in search of the perfect evergreen that will serve as the centerpiece of all family holiday festivities. For many mid-Missouri families, that masterful search happens just outside of Boonville, Mo., at Starr Pines Farm.
Owners Wayne and Ann Harmon have been raising Christmas trees since 1986 and in 1990, they began selling trees to the public, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, on their 200-acre farm.
Most of the trees grown at Starr Pines farm are Scotch Pines, their biggest seller, and Norway Spruce. Wayne estimates he has between 32,000-35,000 trees on the farm currently, but has had as many as 65,000. Their crop is half of what it used to be because of a major hail storm in the early 2000s that destroyed nearly 50,000 trees. Continue reading