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Author Topic: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)(Completed, on to contest#3!)  (Read 11139 times)

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Online Jeff

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I went and spent a couple hours while Tammy was driving yesterday visiting my friend and Forestry Forum member Barnie.  That's Geers Farms in McBain Michigan. It's amazing what all Barnie and his wife have going on on that farm. Sawmilling, draft horses, pumpkin farm, and this time of year, as in the last many many years, he has a commercial Christmas Wreath operation going.

Barnie took me in to one of the buildings and introduced me to the ladies that were working yesterday. I think yesterday and today are to be the last days they will be running. The operation is winding naturally down now, but a tad early mostly due to the weather. We have had a whole lot of snow in our part of Michigan for it not being winter yet and the bough cutters have got to the point where its just not worth it to trudge around in all that snow.

Before I post the photos and video links, I want to Thank Barnie, his wife and his gang for the day and for what he sent home with me. Our next Christmas contest prize. A beautiful Christmas Wreath and a fancy box to put it in, just waiting to make a journey somewhere on Monday the 8th of December to a Forestry Forum member. 

The Wreath is made from White Cedar, White Pine and Fraser Fir.  To enter, and possibly win the wreath and have it sent to your home to hang for the holidays, just make a post in this thread (even if its your first one!) before Noon, Forum Time Saturday the 6th of December letting us know you want to be included in the drawing.  We'll draw a winner from the names sometime Sunday Morning.

This is a wreath made from natural materials so it can only be shipped within the United States, but if our Forum members from other countries want to be included in the contest, you can gift the wreath to anyone in the United States, and we will send it to your friend with a note from you. :)

Now, here are some photos.  :)

 

Photo of the Gals at the sorting and trimming tables. They will sort and cut the "tips" or boughs according to what type and size of wreaths are being made at the time.


Here is a video clip talking about sizing


A table with a few completed wreaths, ready to hang naturally or get further decorations such as ribbons, berries, pine cones and other adornments.


Wreath Assembly in the next two photos. Its hard to get a picture of what they are doing with those ever moving hands. :) I took a ton of photos, but many of them were just a blur.  :D
Barnie was telling me that they make all sizes shapes and styles of wreaths. From the traditional shape we all know along with wreaths formed to look like candy canes and Christmas trees and other holiday shapes.
 

Amy, is assembling wreaths using one of the crimping machines. A couple of the video clips that follows the photo shows this operation.





Here we have a shot of some of the species being used in the "Mixed" wreaths they were building while I was there. White Pine, White Cedar and Fraser Fir


Now there is the perfect styye of work gloves for Christmas Eh?

One of the farm cats watches the activity. The wreath building barn is heated and comfortable and they love to take advantage of that. The cement floor is surprisingly comfortable to walk on. Why? Its lined with needles and bough bits. Its like walking on a forest floor and really, really smells like it too!

Barnie shows the difference in a couple wreaths simply due to a different persons technique. Wreaths are identified on the back by two colors of ribbon. Each wreath builder is identified by a color, and the wreath size as well. When a customer specifies that they want matching wreaths, they need to be built by the same artisan in order to look the same, just because everyone has a different way of doing things.  :)


The following 3 photos are of a machine that really intrigued me. Its a Garland Machine. I'd never saw one before. Geers Farms has made about 5 miles of Garland so far this year! A machine and experienced operator can turn out over 2000 feet a day! Following the photos are a couple video clips of the Garland Machine in action.







Thanks for visiting Barnie's Wreath making operation with me! Barnie doesn't run the sawmill operations while they are making wreaths because as he says, People dont want wreaths with dander :D  He'll be back to making sawdust here probably next week.


Thanks again to Barnie! I always have a good time when we get to visit, and good luck to everyone that enters this Forestry Forum Christmas contest #2!.
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Online Jeff

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 04:43:02 PM »
OOPS! Forgot the garland machine video clips!



Just call me the midget doctor.
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Ezekiel 22:30

Offline Warbird

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 04:46:23 PM »
That is a pretty neat operation.  Thanks for sharing, Barnie and thanks for taking the time, Jeff.  The garland machine is cool!  Shipping to Alaska can get expensive, so I will not enter the contest.

Offline thedeeredude

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 04:55:52 PM »
Neato 8)  Any pics of the draft horse and sawmill stuff?  Count me in the contest.  On a side note when I was young i signed up for a contest/raffle at a John Deere dealer.  I was filling out the form and an old guy next to me says that being left handed is unlucky ???  well, couple days later I got a call that I won second prize!  A battery charger ::)  I wasn't even 12 yet so I traded it for some toys.  I'm done now ;D

Offline Radar67

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 04:58:17 PM »
Thanks for the tour Jeff. I'll have to watch the clips tonight.

You can throw my name in the hat.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2008, 05:08:16 PM »
Lindy likes to make wreathes. One of the neatest lookiing ones she ever made was from grape vine and cotton balls. During picking time the sides of the roads are loaded with the balls that blow off the trailers. She has a real knack for turning weeds and stuff she picks up into something nice. Put me in the pot for the wreath. I'm sure she wouldn't mind one from a professional.
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Offline EZ

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2008, 05:10:12 PM »
Thanks Jeff, that is very interesting. I'm in...

Offline Tom

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2008, 05:21:57 PM »
They aren't from around here, are they?   I can tell.  :D :D
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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2008, 05:28:00 PM »
Yep, they are. All live right near by.  Just neighbors.  :)
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Offline old joe

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2008, 05:28:52 PM »
Thanks Jeff  I've always how garlands were really made.  I remember making them by hand.Maybe 20' a day!!  please enter me in drawing Thanks  Joe
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Offline tyb525

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2008, 05:53:10 PM »
count me in!
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Offline Tom Sawyer

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2008, 05:58:38 PM »
Beautiful!  Count me in! :)

Offline wykle42548

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2008, 06:32:40 PM »
  jeff : please add my name to drawing      the videos are very nice to watch.

Offline ellmoe

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2008, 06:43:51 PM »
They aren't from around here, are they?   I can tell.  :D :D

   Yeah, Tom. I didn't see any palmetto fronds or Muscadine vines! Can you make Christmas wreaths without them? ;D  I'd like to find out. Please throw my hat in the ring.

   Thanks for the tour, Jeff. Very interesting.

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2008, 07:48:29 PM »
Thanks for the tour.There was a guy that was tipping a few miles from me.He was cutting a lot of fir trees.Probaly not much bigger than 6-8 inches on the stump.Would take the boughs and than the rest would go for pulp.
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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2008, 08:07:31 PM »
Very nice

Please throw my name in the hat.

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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2008, 08:26:32 PM »
Throw my name in the too. That is one heck of an operation.
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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2008, 08:27:56 PM »
Thanks for pics and video of process.

Now just let Tammy know you have to go back and gets pics and video of the sawmill and draft horses working.
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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2008, 08:56:21 PM »
Although I can't see the videos on this dial up, I sure do appreciate the tour of Barnie's shop. As you know I have been involved in making a few and tipping a few fir as well. The women sure make it look easy and as you say they are quick to. I can't even compete. :D

I'm not in the contest, but ya know I gotta say sumpthin.  ;D
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Re: Wreath Making at Barnie's (Christmas contest#2)
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2008, 09:00:12 PM »
Me too!  Those are cool!
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