Friday, December 21, 2012

The Spirit of Giving: Marini Farm Hosts Tree Jubilee for The Ipswich Humane Group

Most Creative/Unique Tree - Gold Award: Ipswich Clambake
In a room filled with community spirit and joy, more than 50 local businesses, organizations and families gathered at Marini Farm’s large greenhouse December 4 to donate and decorate trees and wreaths on behalf the Ipswich Humane Group, Inc.’s annual Tree Jubilee Fundraiser.
From gorgeous glittery trees, elegant bonsais, crafty wreaths, and classic designs of simple beauty, the room oozed with creativity.  Local interior designers, greenhouses and landscapers displayed their own unique professional touches.
The panel of judges who viewed the donors’ entries and selected the winners included Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas, local artist Susan Burton, and Ipswich Selectman Patrick McNally.  The winners were: 
Best of Show Tree: The Parks Family
Best of Show Wreath: The Clambox
Best Professional Tree: Corliss Brothers
Best Professional Wreath:  Gordon’s Florist
Most Creative/Unique Tree
Ipswich Clambake
Silver: Ipswich Ale Brewery/Mercury Brewing
Bronze: Best Scentsy Wickless Candles
Most Creative/Unique Wreath
Gold: The Thompson Family
Silver: The Best Family
Bronze: Ipswich Shellfish 

Honorable Mention:
Time & Tide Fine Art
The Halliday Family

Then on December 7, 8, 9, 14, and 15, the public was invited to tour the gallery of beautifully decorated trees and wreaths, and purchase raffle tickets for a chance of winning their favorite tree.  For $5, participants were given 10 chances to win a tree or wreath, and for $10, they had 20 chances to take home a uniquely decorated item.

“Seeing the Marini Farm greenhouse alive with so much creativity, along with so many people coming forth to support the good cause of the Ipswich Humane Group, truly makes this season so special for us,” said Mike Marini.  “Contributing to community has always been part of our mission as third-generation farmers.”

On December 16, the raffles were drawn, and the 50-plus winners were called to pick up their trees and wreaths, with all the accompaniments.

As a result, $4,391 was raised, with more than double the number of donated trees and wreaths over last year. Additionally, viewings for the decorated items took place over two weekends this year, versus only a Friday night and all day Saturday last year. One hundred percent of all proceeds of the event will go directly to helping take care of the animals - including all veterinary bills and food - until they find “a forever home.”

Last year, the Tree Jubilee, also hosted by Marini Farm, raised $2,747 and had 23 donators. 

“The Ipswich Humane Group can't thank the Marinis enough for all they do to help our group and the stray and homeless animals that come through the Ipswich Animal Shelter,” said Heidi Best, president of Ipswich Humane Group. “In the last few years, the Marinis have been instrumental in our fundraising efforts through their Doggy Maze Day and the Tree Jubilee which have now become annual events. The donation of their greenhouse PLUS electricity, heat and so much more makes this all possible so 100 percent of all the donations go to the animals.”

Next year, the Ipswich Humane Group would like to increase the competition for the Tree Jubilee by inviting all veterinary hospitals and animal-related businesses to compete against each other for the most "creative" tree, Best noted.  Additionally, the organization would like to invite competitions between liquor companies and professional florists/garden centers to add to the great viewing of trees and wreaths.

“Thank you to all who attended plus congratulations to all the winners!  We hope to see you all next year,” Best remarked.  “Thank you again Mike and Kim Marini for all you and your family do to help the shelter pets."

With the Tree Jubilee expecting to return next year bigger than ever, start percolating your decorating ideas now. 

To joyfully giving back on behalf of the The Ipswich Humane Group,

Mike Marini and the Marini Farm Family 

Written by BloggerPros.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Selecting the Oh-So-Perfect Christmas Tree at Marini Farm is a Family Affair

Gather the family, pack a tape measure and heavy-weight gloves, choose a holiday CD to play en route and come on over to Marini Farm for one of the best selections of more than 2,000 pre-cut fresh Christmas trees.

A full selection of wreaths, decorated and plain kissing balls, swags, greens, roping, hand-made bows and gift items are also available. The Stand Strait Christmas Tree Stand--also known as The Marriage Saver--is available for sale with free tree drilling for owners of the stand. Considered the best Christmas tree stand available, it enables your tree to stand tall, straight and stable to prevent it from toppling over, and requires only one drill hole in the base of your tree.

Marini Farm starts shopping for Christmas trees right after July 4th, and they make it a family excursion. The Marini family takes a summer vacation in the Quebec area, and sets aside some time to meet with the tree growers and select the trees for the coming Christmas season. Balsam and Fraser trees are the most popular based on overall quality and shape, with Balsam known for their fragrance and Fraser knows for their strong branches and minimal needle drop. As Marini states, “Our hands-on selection process is the reason the quality of our trees is second to none,  and we want our customers to get the best tree possible for their families to enjoy.” 

According to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), 56 million trees are planted each year for future Christmases and 30 to 35 million families will shop and buy a "real" Christmas tree this year. Finding your perfect Christmas tree can be a challenge.

To make your selection process a little easier, Marini Farm has compiled these tips for picking and maintaining the perfect tree for you. 


1.  Get clear before you leave home where you will be positioning the tree and how much room you need. Take measurements of the height and width you need, and be careful not to overbuy. A tree can be the right height and still be too wide.

2.  Bring old gloves that you don't mind getting full of sap and take along a small hand saw if you want to do some trimming before bringing the tree home.

3.  Leave plenty of time to shop and enjoy the experience rather than rushing an hour before the farm closes. Marini Farm holiday hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

4.  Know where you tree comes from, as sometimes locally grown trees are fresher than those that come from far away.

5.  Find out when the trees were cut. If they are cut too early and left out in the sun in the fields, they will dry out faster.

6.  Check freshness by taking a branch and running your hand across it to make sure a lot of needles don’t fall off. Other tests: If the tree feels light for its size, it could be dried out. If a bent branch doesn’t snap right back, that’s a sign it’s getting stale.  Inspect them out in the light and look for any outward signs of dryness like a musty smell, brown needles or excessive needle loss. Fresh pine tree needles will be green and pliable when you bend them. The needles on a fir tree should be green and snap crisply when bent. Give the tree a good shake. If more than a few needles fall off, select another tree.

The shelf life of a fresh tree in a home, if properly cared for, is about four to six weeks.

7.  Make sure the tree only has one trunk and that it is not crooked or bent. Trees with two trunks cannot be placed in a holder, and they tip over easier as well, often breaking ornaments.

8.  The base of the tree should be cut right before you take it home, and then plunged into water when you get there. Some recommend soaking the trunk in hot water with a few tablespoons of sugar for three days, then keeping it in lukewarm water. Some stores sell life-lengthening powders you can mix in the water. If you do purchase a freshly cut Christmas tree, you should water it frequently, never let the water run out and avoid keeping the tree near a heat source.

9.  Take the tree into the doorway BASE-FIRST versus top-first to avoid losing branches, which are sloped upward.


According to National Christmas Tree Association polls, here are the favorite top 10 Christmas tree species sold in North America. 

#1. Fraser Fir
#2. Douglass Fir
#3. Balsam Fir
#4. Colorado Blue Spruce
#5. Scotch Pine
#6. Eastern Red Cedar
#7. White Spruce
#8. Eastern White Pine
#9. White (Concolor) Fir
#10. Virginia Pine

They each have unique qualities:

  • Noble fir, Fraser fir, Balsam fir, Douglass fir and Scotch pines typically retain their needles the longest.
  • The light scent and feathery dark green foliage of the Leyland Cypress is excellent for people with allergies, while the Balsam fir is highly aromatic.
Only some of these are available in this area. Do some research before you leave home so you know what type of tree best suits your needs.

Most importantly, enjoy making your tree shopping experience a happy family memory. To add to your enjoyment, Christmas on the Hill at Marini Farm features hay rides, a visit from Santa (December 8th, noon to 4 pm), giant snowmen and free hot chocolate.

From all of us at Marini Farm, we wish you and yours a very happy holiday season. 

The Marini Family

Written by Blogger Pros.