Making Christmas wreaths in Minnesota - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Making Christmas wreaths in Minnesota

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HAM LAKE, Minn. (KTTC) -- Christmas is just about a month and a half away, and what would Christmas be without the wreath?  One of the biggest producers of wreaths in the country is in Minnesota.

The people at Mickman Brothers in Ham Lake have making wreaths down to a science.  It's a landscaping business in the warm months, but when it turns cool, years and years of family experience go into making the perfect wreath.

"A half a million bows, three million jingle bells on a million and a half pine cones. 15 hundred tons of bows it takes, 18 tons per load everyday. It's a huge process that starts the middle of October and by the middle of December it will be over," said Mickman Brothers President John Mickman.

But for that two month stretch there is non stop work in the Mickman Brothers greenhouse to make sure all of the wreaths are done for Christmas.

"We produce over half a million evergreen products. In order to sustain that kind of production we go through 30 to 40 tons a day," said Mickman.

After truckloads dump fresh evergreens hand cut from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, the magic continues inside.

"These guys will make 900 wreaths a day," said Mickman.

Most of Mickman Brothers 250 plus employees are immigrants that have come from farming jobs during the summer. After wreath production concludes in late December, most will go back to their home countries until farming picks up in the spring.

"You have people that come and go. You have it or you don't have it. You could be here all day and you could be really slow, but you see how quick these guys are. They're just like chickens picking on food," said Mickman Brothers employee Jay Moau.

Once a wreath is 100 percent complete, it is packaged with care and shipped anywhere from down the road to across the country for someone to enjoy this holiday season.

Mickman Brothers provides numerous groups with fundraising opportunities, but they can also be purchased separately online.

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