Nestled in the heart of the Rondout Valley which lies between the Shawangunk Ridge and the foothills of the Catskills, Bell’s Christmas Trees (on Mettacahonts Road, in Accord) is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary in November! To mark this important milestone, RVGA has made Bell’s Christmas Trees it’s Featured Grower.
Gordon and Paula Bell, along with their son Brian and his wife Lori, run the farm together, which sells several varieties of U-cut and pre-cut spruces and firs, wreathes and other holiday gift items.
The Bell’s four-generation farming history stretches back to around the year 1900, when Gordon’s grandparents, who had been working on the nearby D & H Canal project, purchased farmland in Accord in order to provide healthier living conditions for their growing family. The Bells were mainly known as dairy farmers until the early 1990s, when Gordon and Paula sold the dairy side of the operation and turned what was initially a tree-planting hobby into a full-time business.
When asked what has been the biggest change in their working lives since switching from dairy to tree farming, Gordon Bell (known as “Gordie”) jokingly replied, ” no more 90 hour weeks!” (Tending to livestock year-round can be a very labor- intensive process…) The Bells have also been surprised and touched by how supportive and accepting the community has been of their growing business over the years. As a way of thanking their friends, neighbors and loyal customers, the family will be hosting a special 25th Anniversary Open House on Saturday, November 12th: Don’t miss their Mystery Hunt, hayrides (weather permitting), complimentary light refreshments, and much more!
Gordie and Paula Bell have sought to give back to their community in various ways over the years. Gordie served on the Rondout Valley Growers Board of Directors in its early days — with Founders Bruce Davenport, Fabia Wargin, Chris Kelder, and John Novi — and have remained active in the organization.
Another way in which Bell’s Christmas Trees is involved in their community, is through their annual Mitten Tree Clothing Drive initiated by Paula. This year’s drive will start on November 26th (the day after Thanksgiving – kicked off by a visit from Santa!) and last until December 14th. Bring in your new or gently used mittens, gloves, hats and scarves; you can drape them -or have the Bells drape them for you-on a selection of trees in front of the farm , and admire the holiday display! At the end of the drive, all of the gifted accessories will be donated to Family of Ellenville.
RVGA wishes Bell’s Christmas Trees another 25 years of successful family farming!