2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Growing Mistletoe A Rewarding Sideline Business
“My job situation wasn’t the best about a decade ago, so I sold mistletoe outside of shopping centers and at my dad’s Christmas tree lot,” Huggins says. “That gave me enough money for a wonderful Christmas, and every year since I’ve put my heart and soul into this part-time business.”
Huggins and his wife now operate Genuine Oregon Mistletoe, selling more than 10,000 bundles of the holiday item every year. Initially their business grew by word-of-mouth sales, but recently they developed a website to gain wider exposure.
“Mistletoe isn’t a crop that a person cultivates or grows in a field,” Huggins says. “It’s a parasitic plant that grows around and up into large mature trees. I climbed into the trees or used a ladder to harvest it initially, and also used a shotgun to shoot off branches.” Now he borrows his uncle’s boom truck to reach up and around mature trees to gather the vining crop.
Huggins says mistletoe is difficult to handle because it’s fragile, gets moldy, and its leaves can get sunburned during a drought. “The crop is time sensitive just like Christmas trees, so we have to have product available when the market wants it.” After the plants are harvested from a tree, they separate and select the sprigs, interweave holly with them, and then tie them into tiny bundles, which are delivered to their regular customers and also sold online.
“This isn’t the type of business a person can get into quickly and hope to succeed and make a killing financially,” says Huggins. “There’s a lot of time and hard work involved. The end product, however, brings a lot of joy and holiday smiles. That’s what’s really rewarding and has been since we started.” For pricing check out Huggin’s website or contact him via email.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Genuine Oregon Mistletoe (ph 503 863-9939; email@example.com; www.oregonmistletoe.com).
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