It’s hard to believe we are going into our 6th season with Brungot Farms, and when I look back at the 2018 season, I now fully understand how nearly 50% of businesses fail in their first 5 years. It hasn’t been an easy road, but I wouldn't change a thing. Just Kidding, we have changed plenty, we look back every year, and figure out how we can do things better the next season, and this year is no different.
I can’t thank you enough for what you have helped us do in Central Texas. 2018 alone we raised over $22,000 for the non-profits we support here in Texas. We launched the Leander location with our 12 Days of Hope & Giving, along with a huge first-year fundraiser with Keller High School in Keller, Texas. We had Fundraisers From DFW to San Antonio with some points in between.
On top of funds raised, we provided 54 Families with giving trees, or wreaths as part of our continued partnership with LifeWorks Austin & their Project Holiday Help (Learn more here). Helping them provide homes for youth in Austin who many would go without, if it wasn’t for their work. This year, they open phase 2 of their housing, and we stand ready to help with an even greater need. We once again provided the wreaths for the families at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Texas. Those families are going through enough, just a little extra touch of the holiday’s goes a long way.
In the spirit of Christmas, we provided “Texas sized” 6-foot wreaths for the Airport Christmas party event, not to mention over 800 wreaths in homes across Texas. That’s five times the number of wreaths we made in 2017! Amazing progress, as the word of our fresh wreaths continues to spread.
In not-so-great news reflecting on our 2018 Christmas season. Our biggest long-term tree supplier filed for bankruptcy because of hardships they faced. With the two hurricanes and multiple storm fronts affecting their harvest conditions, the financial strain was greater than they could bear. Normally their team harvested 2,000 trees a day, last year a good day was just over 700 trees. All the trees having to be hand-carried off the mountainside because the equipment just sunk into the ground and made things worse for harvesting the trees. This is what created a severe shortage of 6-7, 7-8, and 8-9 foot trees for us. We are working extra hard to replace their long time support, but it's no easy task in today’s Christmas tree market.
When farms are sold, the odds are good that their beautiful Christmas trees are bought by huge retail operations. This removes thousands and thousands of trees from the free market, and is happening at an alarming rate.
How Brungot Farms is affected by the Tree shortage
In 2018, we began a new partnership with a farm in New Hampshire, and the quality of the trees that came from there was very impressive. We expanded our agreement this year, and currently, their farm will serve as the sole supplier for Brungot Farms.
Although we are excited to have a supplier of beautiful trees, this created an issue for having the availability of trees over 11 ft. We are hard at work to find a replacement second farm, but it is a challenging search! We hope in the next few weeks we will give word that we have completed the process as we have a trip out to North Carolina to meet with them. We reached out to Christmas tree farm after Christmas tree farm, in multiple states and the response we have gotten is that these farms are already sold out, or we are not accepting new customers at the current time.
Our hope is that in the next month, farms that are not accepting new customers yet will have their repeat customers orders in, and we will be able to secure the additional trees we are looking for. We even reached out to the North Carolina Growers Association, and they said they didn’t know of any farms with trees available, and we aren’t even out of July. All of this is going to shape up for a very interesting Holiday season! Retail prices of trees will be on the rise again this year, as well as selling out early!
As we shared last year, with the entire United States is undergoing a Christmas tree shortage due to the 2008 recession. Choose & cut tree farms, are selling out in less than 2 weeks for example.
Because of this, it is even more important that you pre-order your Christmas tree! We prioritize our pre-sale customers and hold to make sure our pre-sale and fundraiser customers are serviced first. Pre-ordering not only ensures you know where your tree is coming from, but you also help us prepare for the Christmas season. (Click here to go to the pre-order site)
What is to come with 2019 Christmas season
The Brungot Farms family is growing this year, with members of our Brungot Farms family expecting babies! Nathan & Lacey are expecting baby Gunnar very soon, and Larissa & I got married in March, and we are expecting our first child in February! So, please excuse us if we are extra tired this season, and please make sure Larissa’s behaving and not lifting Trees this year!
We are so excited for what’s to come and we can’t wait for the Christmas season!
Merry Christmas in July!