People can buy a real Christmas tree just about anywhere these days — from the big box stores to the side of the road.
Some like them tall and thin. Others like them shorter and thick.
The Christmas tree business is not a get-rich-quick kind of industry. Once a seedling is planted, it takes about eight years of growth before the tree can fulfill its Christmas destiny.
With more than 25 million real Christmas trees sold in the United States every year, growing Christmas trees is a thriving industry for farmers in North Carolina.
“I think real trees are holding their own,” said Tom Sawyer, owner of Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm in Cashiers. “There’s been more of a resurgence of people lately who want the real deal.”
Roberta Brunk could have easily become a victim of circumstance. Growing up in an abusive home and being moved around to different foster homes and schools could have permanently shaped her life and set her up for disaster, but she didn’t let that happen.
Linda Morgan, executive director at Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, said she’s seen the pendulum swing many times during her 42 years working in the system. Some years the cottages at Broyhill are sparsely occupied, but the children’s home has been at capacity with 50 children for a solid two years.
As Caroline Kernahan talked about why she wanted to be a foster parent, her 4-year-old daughter Claire climbed into her lap and asked when her new brother or sister would be coming to stay with them.
Donna Lupton, director of social work in Haywood County, admits that fostering a child or teen isn’t for everyone.
In a perfect world, every child would have a loving family and a safe home to return to at the end of the day, but it’s not a perfect world. The reality is that thousands of children are removed from their homes each year in North Carolina.
Foster care agencies continue to see the number of foster care cases increase and the opportunities to reunify those children with their biological parents decrease. It’s a trend many Western North Carolina counties are experiencing.
It was another banner year for Western North Carolina bluegrass acts at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards in Raleigh last Thursday evening.
Despite torrential downpours, and the possible threat of Hurricane Joaquin making landfall, the industry showcase once again brought together musicians, promoters and bluegrass fans alike for a week of memorable moments, onstage and off.