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O' CHRISTMAS TREE


Pivotal - Pivot Point - Tipping Point - Fulcrum


Before Unity Farm Sanctuary was founded at the end of 2016, we focused on organic agriculture and animal rescue (we served creatures in need). At the time, we did not recognize that a great way to achieve our mission was to directly facilitate the relationship of humans to animals. From 2016 to the present, we've created new opportunities for community service, participation, and environmental sustainability, our "Community Benefit Startup". We offer a program for Halloween pumpkin recycling - cows and pigs enjoy eating a soft and chewy jack o'lantern. This year we received thousands of pumpkins from homes throughout the region. People collected pumpkins in their neighborhoods and turned feeding rescue animals into a community service project. Based on the success of the pumpkin project, we offered to recycle untreated Christmas trees in our region.


We promised to feed untreated/organic/undecorated trees to our sheep, goats, and cows then turn the skeletonized branches into wood chips, covering our 4 miles of public walking paths. Instead of paying for pickup, or adding to overburdened landfills, folks in the community could drop off their untreated trees at Unity Farm Sanctuary. We started with local news coverage, then regional news coverage, then national news coverage of our efforts. After a CBS Mornings broadcast, we received hundreds of trees. We purchased a Woodmaxx MX-9900 chipper for our John Deere Tractor to grind the eaten trees into mulch for our trails. We now have a scalable, sustainable, and highly repeatable process to safely recycle thousands of trees and branches per year, all in the name of community benefit.

An unexpected side effect of this effort is that those dropping off a tree often make monetary donations, funding the equipment and labor needed to provide the service.


The people we've met through this effort are happy to help the animals, reduce waste, and walk our finished forested trails.

The "pivotal" event in this case, was the recognition that we could solve an entirely different problrm - the need for recycling seasonal materials in a way that feeds rescue animals and enhances recreational opportunities. We achieved public engagement, value (donations), and expansion of our reputation as a community benefit organization. Becoming a destination for the community by creating family outing opportunities on the Sanctuary trails is a "pivot point".


A "tipping point" for us will be complete coverage of the costs of operating the Sanctuary from community donations. We're on the right trajectory for that to happen, but we're not there yet.


Creating the infrastructure with equipment that ensures we can support the recycling of all donated seasonal items has been our "fulcrum". Improving infrastructure helps us enrich the lives of the animals, and benefit the community.


From the dictionary

  • pivotal - "vitally important"

  • pivot point - "levels in which the sentiment of the market change from bearish to bullish"

  • tipping point - "the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place"

  • fulcrum - "a thing that plays a central or essential role in an activity, event, or situation."

Guest Blogger, John D. Halamka MD (UFS Co-Founder)

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