Breaking In and Breaking Even,
A brief letter from the co-owners of ForeverGREEN Farm
We are breaking ground with a new concept and breaking into a very big and established industry. The use of cut Christmas trees in the U.S. is a frame of mind, which - just like the evolution of recycling, will be slow a boat to turn around in the right direction. The road may be five miles uphill in the snow, but with a potted tree on our backs and your support – we will celebrate the progressiveness of the Bay Area and change the landscape of how Christmas trees are “consumed” in the U.S. – one household at a time and rippling out from our home turf.
We started this goal in 2015 on a idea and $30k of personal money to see if we could do it and guess what……WE DID! Our concept has traction and has grown. We often catch ourselves feeling selfish because we started a project that while only yields breakeven returns we could never put a price on seeing the adults and children of the households we service truly embrace what we are trying to do and even better – pass it on to their neighbors, families and friends. We doubled in households from the 2015 season to the 2016 season and 80% of that growth was from referrals from our 2015 households. If that doesn’t speak volumes to the concept and how like-minded our customer base is - then we don’t know what else could.
THANK YOU – we are doing this together!
The selfish side of Christmas:
At the end of the day – money doesn’t matter – our beings and our ecology are all that we are left with. We (you and us) are breaking into the Christmas tree market with an alternative to the traditional “cut” tree and bettering our ecology. We have all wondered “why not” have a live tree or perhaps – we have had one or a few in the past, but it was too cumbersome of a project to continue on an individual and annual basis. We at ForeverGREEN wanted to take some of the heavy lifting and management off of your hands and see if we could do it all together. We wanted to create a community of like-minded people who wanted to celebrate Christmas in the light and not in the dark by ignoring the fact that a cut tree is a selfish endeavor during a time of giving. By providing an option to the “cut” market we have realized the potential of the concept and more importantly – the physical and emotional return this option brings to the households we service. As we have encountered hurdle after hurdle we uncovered some of the “why nots” and did our best to overcome them. Best part of all of it was that you were right there with us to help shine a bright, positive light on the Christmas holiday!
Our future together - Charging forward!
Good things are ahead as we continue to work out the details and work through the kinks. We will continue to fine tune our business practices and pivot to be successful with all of them. What does the future have in store?
Things we are improving on for 2017:
· Automated texting: This will improve our communication with you. With added communication that your household can be reminded as to your delivery and pick up days along with watering schedules to help you be successful with your busy day to day schedules. You will be given the option to not utilize this feature. As a promise to you - we will always be available on our cells and ready to answer questions.
· Self-scheduling: You can self-schedule online with early or late season options. The days will be set ahead of time based on region and zip code, but once you pick your day from the options an email will be generated to improve your ability to remind yourself on the fly.
· Set delivery and pick up days: Mainly to reduce our carbon foot print and stay in line with our goals and model – we will be delivering and picking up determined by region and zip codes. This also makes your experience less cumbersome and easier to remember your days.
· Improved growing practices:
1. We are committing some serious cash to a big shading system and a 3/4 acre graded and gravel pad. This will assist with our inconsistent weather patterns throughout the growing season. Heat spikes and irrigation will be easier to manage with these improvements.
2. All trees that are fostered are currently (as I type) being transplanted in anticipation of a productive growth season. Your tree will be released from its root ball burlap sack and its soil will be augmented and improved for increased growth from the previous acclimation season.
3. A 2500-gallon water tank has been purchased and backed with an off grid solar system powered pump. It is being installed to retain our glacier snow melt in the event of a water shortage. This provides added insurance for us to make it through any heat spikes and water table reductions.
Campout: We have added a visit from a CalFire fire engine and a crafts hour for the kids. In addition to all of the weekend’s events we are also working on a fly-fishing seminar – Fly-fishing 101 (Waiting to hear back from the instructor for a date that works for him). Oh ya - I completely forgot about the newly installed OUT DOOR HOT SHOWER!! How'd I almost forget about that??
This event has also doubled from last year so we are very excited to have your household come see our progress and visit your tree in its natural environment. Click the logo and use the assigned PW to view more details.
A quick note on billing:
We are a seasonal company and therefore it does not make sense to retain and store CC information for a one year period given that cards expire. As the good majority of our households take advantage of the discount percentage off and pay in advance we will stay the course with this policy. We GREATLY appreciate payments in full because it allows us to make improvements for the long haul and keeps us growing in the right direction without taking out loans. We will continue to add incentives for "payment in full" as a perk for those customers that are able to pay in full, but we understand that the bay area is a tough place to get ahead and that’s why we created the annual installments.
Once again – thank you for your support and we hope to get to know you better at the Campout in May!
Patrick & Laura