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Intern shares trip to Christmas tree farm
Kayla Filmore
Local teen Kayla Fillmore is an intern with the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Hi, my name is Kayla Fillmore. I’m 14 years old and I’ve lived in Liberty County since birth.
I’m participating in the Summer Youth Employment Program in Liberty County. I was placed in the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office to learn about what type of services Extension offers Liberty County. Extension is a public service outreach unit of the University of Georgia, and there’s an office in each of the 159 counties in Georgia.
These offices provide Georgians with free research-based information on material related to agriculture and the environment, lawns and home gardens, animals, community well-being, youth, family and much more.
Here in Liberty County we have two county agents, Kasey Bozeman and Ashley Hoppers. Kasey Bozeman focuses mainly on 4-H and youth development. Ashley Hoppers focuses mainly on agriculture and natural resources. I am happily interning under Ms. Hoppers’ program area. For the two weeks I’ve been working with Ms. Hoppers we’ve done many exciting things. We’ve explored Cay Creek Wetlands, participated in monarch butterfly research and even visited a farm!
On July 2, I visited Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm, and there I met Mr. Paschal, the owner of the farm. Mr. Paschal was born in 1937 in Hinesville. As a young child, he worked on his father’s farm and that’s where his love for farming began.
His farm opened up to the public in 1982, but only on the weekends. In 1985 the farm went from being open on only weekends to open fulltime. He’s been growing Christmas trees since 1972.
Not only does he grow Christmas trees, he also grows blueberries, Japanese persimmons, muscadines, pears, grapes and plums. Between 1984 and 1985, Mr. Paschal joined the Christmas Tree Association.
Before Mr. Paschal began his farm he was in the U.S. Navy. He was part of the Navy Hurricane Hunters, which was formed to find hurricanes. While in the service, Mr. Paschal attended the University of Georgia and studied forestry. After college, his farming journey began. At first Mr. Paschal only planted Christmas trees, and then he began to add other crops.
Having the blueberries planted at the farm attracted churches and schools. Churches came to pick blueberries and schools brought students to have a magical adventure. Students picked blueberries, fed farm animals, went on hay rides and attended puppet shows. These events helped grow the popularity of Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm. Around the Christmas holiday people would come from all over just to get a tree from his farm. Mr. Paschal would even donate Christmas trees to churches and schools.
Along Mr. Paschal’s farming journey he has faced many obstacles. He’s had to face droughts, fungal diseases, root rots and harmful insects like the pine tip moth. Wet seasons bring fungus to his farm, which is quite harmful to his crops. An extreme wet season could also cause his plants to “drown” by creating anaerobic conditions in the soil. No matter what is thrown at Mr. Paschal he still manages to keep his farm running.
My experience at Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm was fantastic. The farm is a great place for buying blueberries, persimmons, muscadines, pears, grapes, plums, and last but not least, Christmas trees. Therefore, if you’re looking for local produce or a unique Christmas tree you should swing by Mr. Paschal’s farm in Midway. It’s also a great place to see a family farm environment.
For more information, call 912-876-2133 or come by the Liberty County Extension Office on 100 South Main Street in the Historic Courthouse in Hinesville.

Kayla Fillmore

Liberty County Extension intern

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