Cedar Hill Farm will soon be very busy with its Christmas tree business, which it has decided to develop and expand. The farm is now concentrating on Christmas trees and abandoning the fruit business which has been a summer staple of Mississippi Mills for many years. Owner Ria Ralph spoke to the Millstone today and explained that she and her husband Paul made the decision to stop the berry growing when their son Devon chose a career as an Ottawa firefighter. They felt that a less labour intensive year would give them a little more free time in the summer although the trees do demand some care throughout the year.
The decision will have an impact on youth employment in Mississippi Mills. With the berry farm, the Ralphs hired 25 young people, principally grade 12 or university students, to work as regular supervisors. In addition, a number of other students were hired on a casual basis during berry picking season. The Christmas trees will required pruning and care, but need a work force of only about 7 regular employees.
The farm name has been changed to Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm to reflect the product shift.