I'm a little prejudiced about Grayson County since it's where my grandparents grew up and where lots of relatives still live but I think the Fraser firs grown in that part of Virginia are the most gorgeous Christmas trees around. Where once cows grazed in rocky meadows on mountain slopes, now rows and rows of Frasers grow in the cool temperatures of this southwestern area of the Commonwealth.
Journalist Bill Lohmann has taken a look at Grayson's Fraser fir Christmas tree industry in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch, a business that took root in the 1970s and has grown into an economic boom:
The steep and rocky mountains of Grayson County are some of the tallest, most spectacular in Virginia, wonderful for hiking and sightseeing but less than ideal for farming — unless you are growing Christmas trees.One whiff of a Fraser and you'll be hooked.
Mr. Lohmann talked with one of the pioneers of Fraser farming in Grayson, Rodney Richardson, owner of Mount Rogers Christmas Tree Farm, who has some well-known clients. This year he sent several hundred trees to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for their Christmas Town display, and another tree is going to Vice President Joe Biden's residence.
Good article. I could almost smell the heavenly scent of Frasier firs while reading it....