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Bedrock Tree Farm Candles
Recently at a Whole Foods Market, I happened upon a breathtaking display of candles from Rhode Island’s Bedrock Tree Farm. These Bedrock Tree Farm Candles were something special.
Fresh fir needles garnish the top of each glass jar and dance around the wick in a natural and pleasing way. The smell is pure and delicious. I promptly added one to my basket to give as a gift. By the time I got home I regretted not having bought one to enjoy myself!
Thus prompted my field trip to Bedrock Tree Farm in mid December. Located a short drive from Green Hill Beach in Wakefield, Rhode Island, the farm is situated on a private, residential setting of 28 1/2 acres acres, of which 13 acres are planted with a variety of healthy and abundant Fraser Fir, Canaan Fir, and Douglas Fir trees. The farm is open for cutting from Thanksgiving through December 15th. So consider yourself informed on where to start your new holiday tree cutting tradition in 2018!
During my unannounced visit to the farm to check out Bedrock Tree Farm Candles, Former Commercial Lobsterman, Christmas Tree Farmer and Co-Chief Candle Maker Tom Geary welcomed my curious questions. While his wife and business partner Angie Geary was busy managing the staff and operation in the busy days leading up to the Christmas holiday, Tom was generous enough to give me the grand tour.
Here are the highlights from my conversation with Tom.
What’s your background before starting Bedrock Tree Farm Candles?
Years ago I was a full time Rhode Island lobsterman who ran a Christmas Tree Farm on the side. But everything changed in 1996 with the North Cape Oil Spill.
What’s the North Cape oil spill?
On January 18, 1996, during a winter storm, the tank barge North Cape and the tug Scandia grounded on Moonstone Beach after the tug’s engine caught fire.
An estimated 851,928,000 gallons of home heating oil was spilled in front of Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge. This resulted in the closure of a 250-square-mile area of Block Island Sound for inshore fishing. With my commercial lobster fishing business adversely effected, Angie and I made the decision to make the Christmas Tree Farm our full time focus.
When did you start making Bedrock Tree Farm Candles?
In 2012, Angie and I wanted to find a way to use the endless fir needles branches that are sheared to the ground on the farm and left to turn to mulch. We wanted to grow our business in a way that would compliment the seasonal aspects of running a Christmas Tree Farm.
Angie had the vision and was innovative in her plans for how we could recycle the fresh, healthy, succulent fir needles to be featured in products like aromatherapy candles, exfoliating soaps and scrubs & more. And so began Bedrock Tree Farm Candles.
How do you & Angie make your Bedrock Tree Farm Candles so pleasingly aromatic?
We hand-harvest the clippings dry from a variety of conifers and then grind and blend them into all of our products. This creates the amazing natural scent that our customers love.
Each conifer contributes a different scent note to Bedrock Tree Farm Candles. For example, the Douglas Fir Needles deliver the grapefruit scent; Canaan Fir Needles bring a potent tangerine scent; Concolor Fir Needles offer a lemongrass scent; and Fraser Fir Needles carry apple notes.
Every candle we make contains fir needle powder, essential oils, and a naturally derived fragrance combination that is proprietary to Bedrock Tree Farm. The needles floating on the top give an entertainment value to watching the candle burn. Other varieties of candles also feature rose buds and lavender buds on top. Each candle is unique and distinctive, both in looks and aroma.
What wax do you use?
All of our Bedrock Tree Farm Candles products are made with all natural soy wax made in the USA. Soy wax is completely natural, clean burning and non toxic.
Wherever we can, Angie and I are committed to using farming methods and practices that foster cycling of resources, promoting ecological balance, and conserving biodiversity.
6 Bedrock Tree Farm Candles varieties:
Beach Rose & Fir Needle Candle
This flavor was inspired by a woman in Maine who when a small girl walked to the water’s edge through the fir trees. As she walked, she snipped little fir branches and put them in her pockets and then plucked little wild beach rose petals and put the also in her pocket. She took them home and put them in her drawer drawers to capture that wonderful scent combination. When she first smelled our beach rose & fir needle candle, she told us this story and thanked us for bringing back her wonderful childhood memory.
Shiso & Fir Needle
Shiso is a edible herb that has a cilantro, citrus, ginger, basil scent. By combining shiso leaves with Bedrock Tree Farm needle powder and essential oils, we create a fresh spring, summer fragrance.
Lavender & Fir Needle
We created this scent because everyone loves lavender. The sprinkling of lavender buds and fir needles makes for an especially pretty candle for gift giving and the smaller votive size is fitting for wedding and shower favors.
Lemongrass & Fir Needle
Customers tell us they find the lemongrass scent so calming and refreshing. This is a popular outdoor patio candle and a great fit for beach house, back yard and deck enjoyment.
Juniper & Fir Needle
If you’ve ever walked by a juniper tree when the berries are ripe, you know what this candle smells like. Juniper grows wild all over the Christmas Tree Farm, so we knew we wanted to include a juniper candle in our product line.
Bayberry & Fir Needle
This candle features our fir needle soy wax base with bayberry wax and bayberry essence. There’s a tradition of giving the gift of a bayberry candle, lighting it and reciting this legendary poem:
This bayberry candle comes from a friend,
so on Christmas Eve burn it down to the end,
for a bayberry candle burned to the socket,
will bring joy to the heart & gold to the pocket!
What’s the last 5 years been like for you & Angie running Bedrock Tree Farm Candles?
In 2013, just one year after we launched Bedrock Tree Farm Candles, we won 1st place for Best New Product at the New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show. Then in 2015, we won Best Maker at the Philadelphia Gift Show.
Today we distribute to 1,000 stores in all 50 states. Customers can find our candles at many local and national venues, including Whole Foods Markets and Wild Birds Unlimited. Green Hill residents can go local and find our products at Simple Pleasures in Charlestown, RI.
Recently, while Angie was keeping pace with orders and rising demand, I built a 2,000 square foot 2-story log building to bring much needed increased capacity for candle & soap making.
We’re proud to be a family-owned business & share these special Rhode Island products with the world.