Alright, so the Christmas tree came down on New Year’s Eve, now that Santa is all finished this year. Our tree was a balsam fir, and I love the smell of those needles. At the same time, I’m in the process of making hand-soap from the fat I recently rendered from this year’s deer hunting season. Why not make a little bit more use of that fragrant ($66) tree before it goes up into a fiery ball? The needles of balsam can be stripped and apparently the oils/fragrance inside can be ascertained if boiled for a bit in a crock-pot of olive oil. Afterwards, I’ll add the oil to my next batch of soap. I hope it works out. In any case, see you all in ’21. 

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association