2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6, Page #44[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Farm Adds Color To "Holly" Days
The Stew-arts are one of North America's largest suppliers of festive Christmas trimming. The couple is the third generation to operate Amblecote Estate on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Some of the trees are more than a century old.
Amblecote was established by Gaylard's grandfather who brought some holly trees with him from England and started selling holly sprigs in 1886.
Today, the Stewarts ship holly around the world. They sell to wholesale florists and grocery store chains, as well as to individuals by mail order or through their website.
Harvest usually begins in the last week of October and continues almost right up until Christmas, according to Stewart. Sprigs are clipped off by hand before being dipped into a liquid preservative, and drip dried. The fresh sprigs are then packaged and kept in cold storage before shipping.
Amblecote offers a selection of seven different packages for individuals as well as for fundraisers. They also sell in bulk to the wholesale florist trade.
"I'm 65 now and don't plan to continue doing this much longer," Stewart says.
None of the Stewart's four children are interested in taking over the farm, which is also being encroached on by urban development.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Amblecote Estate, 6387 Lakes Rd., Duncan, B.C., Canada V9L 5V6 (ph 250 748-4630; fax 250 746-2374; email@example.com; www.islandnet.com/~amblecot/index.htm).
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