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Green Express Special Edition Newsletter

Caroline Anderson - Wednesday, October 28, 2015

McKenzie Farms Green Express Newsletter

Special Pre-Harvest Edition 2015

As we reach the eleventh hour and the Christmas Tree Season is upon us, we thought it would be helpful if we summarized some of the pertinent themes as we look forward while taking a peek back over our collective shoulders.

I have learned a few really important things over the years in the Christmas tree business and it is funny how many of these lessons mimic lessons learned in the game of life in general. First, the Christmas tree business and Harvest in general is neither black or white, it is distinctly gray; adaptation is the name of the game. As famously stated by John Steinbeck, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” In other words, no matter how carefully a project may be planned, something may go wrong. And finally, “no battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy… (Helmuth Von Moltke)” Once again, adaptation and flexibility are not possibilities; they are probabilities during the Harvest Battle. Vince Lombardi once said that “perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence…” That sums it up pretty darn well (he must have harvested some trees on the side).

My two most recent newsletters have talked about a shortage of Christmas trees in the Pacific Northwest and the historically warm spring / summer we have experienced in 2015, and continue to experience as we approach Halloween. As mentioned, a supply / demand situation in which demand outstrips supply combined with a warm / dry season that simply eliminates some trees from the supply pool is far from ideal. All surviving Christmas tree growers in the region are experiencing the same conditions and have the same issues.

We have done our best and have managed to take lemons and make lemonade with some minor adjustments. As the trees come out of the fields, it is possible that we may see some product that does not meet our / your quality standards. If that is the case, we won’t ship it. What we will do is suggest an alternative size and/or species. These instances will certainly be the exception rather than the rule. It is possible and so we have chosen to mention it. Faced with two choices we would rather see the world as it truly is (and share that), rather than see the world as we want it to be. Communication is always the key and we intend to communicate any and all deviations as they come. Once again, they will be rare; they will however, not be absent.

Thank you again for all of your support during the year and the many nice notes and calls I have received in response to recent newsletters (Ken Cook a tough act to follow). We very much appreciate everyone who made an effort to expedite their orders and the accompanying administrative needs. One of the most gratifying parts of Harvest for me is the close friendships that are forged in a time when the pressure is high, time is precious, and the results are paramount in everyone’s mind. 

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