Growing Fraser Firs in Outdoor Beds
Grant Award: $3,000
Ted Farmer has been in the Christmas Tree business since 1957, but has recently transitioned out of retail sales and wholesaling trees into the production of seedlings.
He used his grant to improve his existing growing beds, purchase a precision seeder and add beam flicker lights above the beds. The seeder plants seeds in rows to overcome the inability to weed and will assist in proper germination. The lights will allow for night interruption to keep the seedlings awake and induce multiple flushes.
With these changes, grow time will be reduced from 5 to 2 or 3 years, allowing increased production and sales. Overall quality of seedlings is also expected to improve. By 2020, Haw Mountain Nursery will be producing around 130,000 transplants a year.