Time to harvest fruits of labour

FOUR years of patient waiting for their seedlings to mature are over for the Grasso family, of Kemps Creek.

This summer will be the first time their Christmas trees are ready for harvest.

First-time Christmas tree farmer Tony Grasso (pictured), says he has always had a keen eye for nature, but this year will be the ultimate test to see how viable his new family business was.

"Well we had a bit of land that was just sitting there and decided that this was something we always wanted to do," he said.

"I've always been into horticulture and thought Christmas trees would be a nice thing to grow on the farm.

"In the beginning though, the industry is a hard one. There is no income for about four years as you have to wait for the trees to reach maturity.

"At this stage though, all signs point to a successful year."

Early this month, Mr Grasso hosted an open day on his farm to allow families to tag their trees for the festive season. The two-hectare farm is home to around 6000 trees of different ages and sizes, and each year a further 1500 are planted.

Mr Grasso said the live trees helped families get into the spirit of Christmas and brought an age-old tradition back to life. The trees will be cut and delivered in early December and will last up to six weeks.

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