P.O. Box 126 Little Deer Isle 04650
Craft Galleries And Dealers
Located on Little Deer Isle in Downeast Maine, Harbor Farm has been creating high quality evergreen Christmas wreaths, centerpieces and other holiday decorations since 1986. Our wreaths are handmade by the local residents of the Maine islands and coastal villages of the Penobscot region. They and their families collect the balsam “tips” and the native nuts, pine cones and reindeer moss and each wreath is decorated with love and care. Wreathmaking is a cottage industry in Maine, and most of our wreathmakers spend the rest of the year picking crabs, trapping lobster, raking blueberries and doing whatever else the particular season calls for. With wreath season comes the joy and excitement of the holidays, and it helps to bring Christmas to the wreathmakers and their families as well as to those who receive them.
Our wreaths are made primarily from balsam fir, one of the most fragrant of the evergreens. When harvesting the balsam fir in a process known as “tipping”, only the tips of the branches are removed, and this process is actually quite beneficial to the health of the tree. Similar to pruning shrubs in your garden, tipping allows more nutrients to reach the actively growing branches, increases airflow and results in a healthier and more vigorous tree. Before the tipping begins, however, the needles on the branches must be “set” by Mother Nature. This occurs after the tree has experienced at least three consecutive days of 20-degree (or colder) temperatures, which induces the tree to enter a dormancy state, sealing the needles in a protective waxy coating. Tips that are collected too early before this setting process will quickly lose their needles. Once the wreaths are made and the pine cones, acorns and other materials are gathered, the decorating begins. Unlike many of the larger wreath companies, our wreaths are made and decorated by hand. This allows the decorator to closely inspect the quality of foliage on each individual wreath and to ensure that the decorations are properly placed and secured. Any wreath that doesn't meet our strict quality standards is known as “firewood”!