Local farmers hope for jolly, holly-filled holidays


As Christmas draws near, Northwest holly farmers have noticed the demand for English holly has decreased.

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As Christmas draws near, Northwest holly farmers have noticed the demand for English holly has decreased.

 

Changing consumer tastes, increased shipping costs and the lingering effects of the recession have taken some of the jolly out of the holiday season for Northwest holly farmers. They produce 95 percent of the English holly, the most well-known variation, in the nation, according to the Northwest Holly Growers Association.

 

Prices on holly have remained unchanged for at least two decades, running about $2.50 a pound, according to Greg Melland, who manages the Silver Creek Holly Farm, located on the banks of the McKenzie River near Leaburg.

 

Over the years, as demand has shrunk, so has the amount of land devoted to holly at Silver Creek Holly Farm. It now has fewer than 200 trees, down from a peak of at least 350 decades ago. Melland sees the drop in demand for holly, which used to leave the farm in truckloads during the holiday season, as the result of changing fashions. The younger generation just isn’t into holly, he said.

 

Read more at The Register-Guard.


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