A few days ago we left London in search for THE Christmas tree. As this year our entire family’s plan was to work on a more sustainable and ethical Christmas, the tree project was one of my main concerns as it had to be sustainably sourced and this buzzing city wouldn’t limit us to find it 🙂
First, I had to find a tree expert because the more reading I’d done on Christmas trees, the more I learnt, yet most of my research on the greenest options led me often to the Scandinavian countries while I needed a local source. Enter The Magic of Foresters, which to my delight happens to be providing everything I’ve been looking for (and more) also the only place in the UK where you can actually source an organic tree. You’ll see what I mean by ‘organic’ and why this should be a priority on everyone’s festive lists.
Amidst the beautiful Kent countryside, in the borough of Bromley, you’ll find a family-run Christmas tree nursery called exactly what it has become over time: Magic of Foresters. It’s been run as a family business since 1960 which is currently home to over 12k trees – they sell a maximum of 10% of their trees each year to ensure the on-going success of the trees and plant at least one organic tree for every tree that is sold.
Each December, you can just drop in to buy a freshly-cut tree from the sales yard, or pick your own Organic tree from our nursery (that’s what we did and our experience is all captured below). The nursery is an absolutely delight, there’s a tiny river crossing it by, and Santa’s Grotto which the little ones would love – more on this if you keep reading 🙂
Except for the beautiful story behind the nursery we got to listen to from its very owner, Julian, who is the founder’s son, we learnt a great deal about what’s happening within the Christmas tree industry itself. First of all I was rather surprised to learn that most trees are most likely cut late September – October so customers wouldn’t even buy a freshly cut tree (hence needles would be lost much earlier).
Forget about not ending up with a freshly cut tree, what’s more important is that what’s being done to trees in order to last or deliver more much faster (while being cheaper), is exposing them to nasty pesticides, herbicides and hormone inhibitors to stop the top of the trees (called leaders) growing too long. Like Magic of Foresters explains on their website, ‘these are not chemicals you want to touch, let alone bring into your home’. Especially not safe for pets and small children.
What makes it even more magical is that ‘Magic of Foresters Organic trees are so good you can literally eat them’! They can be used in beers, jams, snaps, teas, roast dinners, salads and even ice creams, you can find here more inspiration – watch this space for allmumstalk own recipes containing cuttings from our own tree we got to take home! Their Certified Organic and Fair-Trade trees are imported from Denmark. In two years Magic of Foresters themselves will be Certified Organic, meanwhile they are the first, and only, sellers of Organic and Fair-Trade Trees in the UK.
Out kids’ favourite part of the entire experience was the secret grotto neatly tucked away in a tranquil corner of the woodland. When we arrived, we were greeted by Santa’s elf, who took us to meet Santa himself. In a 30 minute visit, the children listened to the elf’s stories, talked to Santa and left home with a gift which made the journey back home pretty enjoyable 😉
Possible the best grotto experience our kids were lucky enough to experience this year! Can’t recommend this place enough for the entire family, you can make such a great day out with an excuse to see Santa and bring home the best and greenest choice of a Christmas tree…
P.S. Here’s a piece of information that might help. If cared for correctly (watered and not near direct heat) the Magic of Foresters tree you get should last until Feb/March 2020 without the needles dropping. There are 10 different types of trees to choose from, from the traditional Norway Spruce and the visually stunning Canadian Blue, to the popular Nordmans. Now go pick your own organic Christmas tree; and if you did already get one, put this on your next year’s ethical Christmas list! You’ll also find there a lovely lady who’s making the most gorgeous festive wreaths, I just wish I got her name!
You’ll find below with a few more pixels of this enchanting place…