What could be better than picking your very own Christmas tree, straight from the source?
That’s what we did last weekend when we were invited by Switzerland tourism to visit one of the Christmas tree farms they work with.
Located in Thierrens the Agrisapins farm is situated in the heart of the Vaud countryside and it’s the ideal spot for a little festive outing with the family. To begin, you are able to stroll around the field to choose your tree which is then cut down and put in a net for easy transportation. When I was single and living in London I would often get a bit carried away when choosing a tree and ended up with a fir that was so big I couldn’t carry it (I remember attempting to haul one through Fulham in a bear hug), so we decided to take our time this year and opt for one we were sure would fit nicely in our living room.
When we were there it was a foggy, frosty and chilly morning which made the experience really atmospheric and the children were really excited to be involved in picking out the tree and the prospect of decorating it later in the day. Alba was fixed on the idea of getting one with a nice top where we could put our gold star, and Jude’s philosophy was that the bigger the tree, the more presents we could put underneath, but we easily managed to find one that kept everyone happy.
The great thing about getting your tree directly from the farm is that you know it is really fresh and has been well taken care of, meaning it should last you right up until Christmas Day if you take good care of it. The farm is huge with 40,000 trees over 4 hectares and a real emphasis on biodiversity. The fields are home to a wealth of creatures including insects, birds, badgers and deer and the maximum amount of byproducts possible are used and recycled. We discovered that you need between 5-10 years to grow a Christmas tree and requires a lot of manual work from Spring to Autumn in order to adapt to the needs of the trees : water, pruning, aphid treatment, nutrients. All these actions will guarantee that the tree will grow with a nice shape and in good health.
The farm is part of Paysans Suisses which gathers a selection of farming families in Switzerland who look forward to showing you their farm and the products they produce. Their website is really well made with lots of information about biodiversity and also the locations of the members so that you can find one near you. You can also discover lots of interesting information about farm life, the calendar of seasons, breeding, climate, plant protection, milk and many other subjects. You can find your closest farm on this page.
We picked a 1.70m tree which cost CHF50 so its a competitive price for a really high quality tree. Inside the cabin where we went to pay, there are also a selection of decorations you can buy, some made from offcuts of the tree as well as holly, and mistletoe a little bit closer to Christmas.
Outside, you can warm your hands by the fire or treat yourself to some soup or a cup of mulled wine. Perfect for a chilly day.
The Agrisapins farm also hosts a Christmas market on 10th and 11th December in a nice warm spot where artisans can sell their products in a really festive environment. Find more details on their Facebook page. All the festive decorations for the market are made my hand using materials from the farm.
Wrap up warm and enjoy.
Find your closest Christmas tree farm on MySwitzerland.
La Commounaille 1,
Paysannes & Paysans suisse