Boys’ Home Runs Christmas Tree Farm in Augusta - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Boys’ Home Runs Christmas Tree Farm in Augusta

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All year round, the Boys' Home in Covington, Virginia, tends to and harvests its 80-acre tree farm in West Augusta to have it ready for the holidays. For 20 years, it has offered a wide selection of home-grown trees - white pines, Norway spruce, firs - to families who come in from all over Virginia.

But more than selling Christmas trees, the nonprofit organization hopes to guide young boys, many of whom come from troubled pasts, into adulthood.

Every year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Greg Lemmer and dozens of boys prepare and send off about 700 trees to visitors. He says the farm has about 15,000 trees growing at a time.

Whether the boys come from family conflict, problems in school, or caregiver health problems, Lemmer hopes once they move to the Boys' Home, the volunteer work will turn things around.

"None of them are going to see the tree they plant harvest. They know that someone 10 years ago did that, and they can see that lineage of boys - a steady stream of boys over the years - coming up here and working. There's not many things in this life that you have instant gratification," Lemmer said.

The physical labor, teamwork, and interactions with families are designed to help the boys grow. For Malijah Taylor, spending time there has transformed the direction of his life.

"It's a whole bunch of negativity, stuff like that, and when I get in the Boys' Home, it help me work on skills - it got me positive, with my grades, and toward my social skills, stuff like that. And my religion, too, it help me get closer," Taylor said.

And coming up with dreams he didn't have before.

"Probably go to college. I want to go to UK, University of Kentucky," he said.

The tree farm, located at 1118 Bear Wallow Flat in West Augusta, is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. And even for those not looking for a tree, they sell wreaths, potpourri and other holiday presents.

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