Find a local pick your own farm here!

Policy About Farms Being Listed On These Websites

We strive to provide a resources that is complete, accurate and current about orchards, farm markets, Pick your own farms, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, farm wedding venues, Easter egg hunts, Christmas tree farms, sleigh rides and related winter events, services and products at farms and related to them and holidays that are offered to the general public.

Our primary responsibility is to serve the general public and help them find farms that meet their needs.  In doing so, we hope to help the small farmer thrive and meet customer's expectations, and thus survive for another generation.

 Toward that goal, we will try to list ALL farms, businesses, and events that are open to the public, without regard as to whether the entity has contacted us or not, or vice versa.

There is no fee to be listed on the website. Banner ads may be purchased and they are clearly differentiated from the unpaid listings.

We find information about farms from Google, the farm's own websites, Facebook pages, news stories, Christmas tree grower associations, online reports about the farms, customers, the general public and the farms themselves.

Whenever we learn from those sources that our information about a farm is inaccurate, we do our best to correct it promptly. The Christmas tree business is seasonal, so we typically make most updates starting in October and then stop soon after Christmas.

How to make updates:

We encourage farms to help us maintain current, accurate and complete information about their farms. We reserve the right to edit the content for clarity, style, consistency with site appearance, etc.

Any tree farmer can easily update their listing by several means.  The links below are present at the top of every page on the website, under the "Farm Owner menu" tab.:

  1. Write a complete new listing using this form: http://www.pickyourown.org/AME1.php?ADDT=UPD
  2. Quickly make a few minor changes using this form: http://www.pickyourown.org/corrections.htm
  3. If these methods fail and ONLY if they fail, (occasionally there are technical glitches for any website) using the feedback form: http://www.pickyourown.org/feedback.htm?QFROMWEB=Christmas&QSUBJECT=Name%20unknown&QFROMPAGE=unknown
  4. In desperation, if all methods above fail, by email [email protected]
  5. Consumers,. not affiliated with the farm, may use any method they wish, but in general, the minor corrections form is probably the most effective method: http://www.pickyourown.org/corrections.htm

We try to make updates within 24 to 48 hours. If you don't get a reply from us with 72 hours, please write back! Sometimes emails and forms do not work!

How to add a new listing

  • Farmers and those affiliated with the farm should use this form. http://www.pickyourown.org/AME1.php?ADDT=ADD You DO need to read the directions . When the form fails; it is almost always because the person put the wrong information in the wrong places (like an email address where it asks for a email address). The form has sophisticated error trapping to force the person entering the information to do so correctly.
  • Consumers and customers should use this form; http://www.pickyourown.org/suggest.htm unless they have detailed information, then they could use the farmer's form, if they wish.

How to delete a farm

Farms are ONLY deleted if they have permanently closed and are no longer open to the public, this year and in future years. Seasonal closures are not eligible for deletion; but the minor corrections form has an option for closed until next season, closed indefinitely, etc.

For the first two years after notification of a farm's closure, all contact information is removed and a note added that explains why. See example below: This is done to communicate to the general public, to reduce calls to the farm itself and to reduce emails and questions from the public to this website asking "What happened to... why aren't they listed?"

  • Hutchison's Christmas Forest - UPDATE for 2021: They are permanently closed .
    Cordova, MD.

If your farm is overwhelmed with customers,

We feel for you and can add a note like "This farm has limited supplies of trees and recommends that you look elsewhere." 

If you want it completely removed we just ask that you do the same with all other online presences, so you do not put us at a competitive disadvantage. 

  • In other words, take down your own website, Facebook page, ask Google to remove your information and make the same request of our competitor's websites. If consumers find your farm listed elsewhere, they will (rightly) conclude that our list is NOT complete and accurate.

A customer told me that "your website says":

We have encountered a very few farmers who  don't understand search engine optimization, who claim that "We are closed and people are still calling us from your website".

Once the phone number and other contact information is removed from our website; that is simply not possible.

Google, Facebook, Yelp, Mommy Bloggers, and many, many other websites present their own information and often copy information from this website and that copied information may carry tags and information that identifies it as coming from our website, even though that too is clearly false. However, a consumer may not be savvy enough to realize this and will tell a farm, "I got it from PickYourOwn.org", which again, clearly is not possible and not true.

The form to notify about closures is the corrections form: http://www.pickyourown.org/corrections.htm

Demands to remove a farm entirely from this website will not be honored unless the farm is permanently closed and the notice about the closure (without phone numbers or email addresses) will be posted about the farm's closure for the first 2 years after as noted above. After 2 years it may be (and is when we go through a periodic cleanup process) removed.

Reviews, comments and opinions

  1. Opinions and reviews may be provided by consumers and the this website (based on our visits to the farm or direct interactions with the farm and its representatives). Yes, that means there may be both positive and negative reviews about a farm, and they may come from consumers, visitors to the farms and this website. False reviews posted by agents of the farm will be removed and may result in a negative review being posted by the website pointing that out. Free speech is indeed a basic right in America. Farms do not have the right to censor free speech. This is protected in ALL states under both federal and state law. 
  2. Prohibited: Opinion and reviews that are found to be hate speech, sexual or profane in nature, fraudulent, or violate any law of the United States, will be promptly removed upon that awareness, review and determination.
  3. When comments and reviews become outdated, and there is reason to believe that they are no longer true or relevant, they may be removed, so as to not mislead consumers or create a false impression. Please write us if you feel this is the case, or when a condition or complaint has been corrected.

Legal basis

  1. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the press - This website is protected by the U.S. Constitution and the Rights provided in the Bill of Rights. Just as any citizen, newspaper and any other publisher has a right to free speech, so do we.
  2. A farm operating as a business that is open to the public does not have a "right to privacy". A farm has no right to demand that the farm's name, address or phone number be removed. Google, Facebook, Yelp and many other websites routinely publish information about every business without asking permission, nor contacting the business; this is a part of business in the 21st century; No one could afford the immense manpower required to individually contact each and every business. Google does not even do that. Any savvy business owner "Googles" the name and address of his farm or business every few months to see where it appears and correct any inaccuracies he or she finds on other websites.
  3. Farmers sometimes write saying "we did not give you permission to include us on your website."
    Permission is not required, we are free to include your farm and write about your farm's public business activities, like name, phone number, email address, street address, nature of the business, products and services offered, published hours of business, etc. The farm's permission is NOT required by law in the United States. See item number 1 above. Our forefathers fought for this Right, and you do not supersede it.

Copyrights

Most commonly the very few farmers who object to being included on this website claim that the name of their farm, their open hours and dates, the type of trees the sell, even their prices are copyrighted and they "did not give permission to be included" here. Everything said in that statement is false; none of those things can be copyrighted. Here's some explanation along with some independent expert references: :

  1. Copyrights -  See this page on LegalZoom that explains you cannot copyright things like the name of your farm, common publicly available information like is address, phone number, website url, Facebook url, product descriptions, etc. As if that is not enough proof, Google never asked your permission to publish the name, address, phone number hours, description, etc, of your farm, but there it is!
  2. GapsLegal includes this, more examples of things that cannot be considered for a copyright:
    Information that is commonly known (that would obviously include addresses, phone numbers, email addresses.
    Business, organization, or group names
    Domain names
    Slogans, catch phrases, and mottoes.
     
  3. Facts: Plain and simple: Facts cannot be copyrighted. Addresses, phone numbers, hours open, etc. are facts. They are not a creative work, therefore they cannot be copyrighted, The Digital Media Law Project also points out, quoting verbatim:
    "facts are not protected under copyright law. As we explain in the section on Copyrightable Subject Matter, copyright protection applies to "original works of authorship." Although the level of creativity required to be "original" is extremely low, facts do not have the requisite level of creativity. For example, baseball scores, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and the number of people at a protest are noncopyrightable facts."
  4. Here is another reference that you may find useful: 15 Surprising Things That Can't Be Copyrighted What is copyright and which things can't be copyrighted? BY LARRY KIM,
     
  5. Fair use: Types of fair use:  The US Copyright office has a website dedicated to explaining the concept of fair use of copyrighted mater. See Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Copyright law identifies certain types of uses, including
    criticism,
    • commentary,
    • news reporting,
    • teaching,
    • scholarship, and
    • research

    as examples of activities that may qualify as a fair use. Nolo explains this fairly well.
     
  6. Fair use: Transformative: Our website quite literally transforms discrete bits of information about farms across the US and the world into a means of seeing and comparing farms by allowing a figurative and literal) apples to apples comparison,.
    Wikipedia provides a pretty good explantion of this, and none less than Google have won a Supreme Court case over this very doctrine. See Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., a case involving mass digitization of millions of books from research library collections. In the ruling, the judge stated "Google Books is also transformative in the sense that it has transformed book text into data for purposes of substantive research, including data mining and text mining in new areas".
     
  7. Fair use: the merger doctrine of public domain:  Since there are limited number of ways to express some facts and ideas, these are uncopyrightable. Directions to reach a farm and open hours, as well as being facts and not creative works also fall under this. This is known as the "merger doctrine" Stanford University explains this here.
     
  8. Links: Another point that some people confuse: Linking does not require permission. Anyone can link to any page on the internet that is not behind a paywall, password-protection, etc.
     
  9. Here is another reference that you may find useful: 15 Surprising Things That Can't Be Copyrighted What is copyright and which things can't be copyrighted? BY LARRY KIM,
     

You want to control where your farm appears and what is said about it

Let's say you're just someone who insists, "I don't care! I don't care about Freedom of Speech! I don't want you to publish anything about my farm, even though it is open to the public and it appears on other websites, my own website, my Facebook page, Google, and your competitors' websites.". In other words, you want to censor other's speech.

That you may not do. But, you can write your own listing anytime so it reflects the information about your farm better.

If that doesn't satisfy you, we can put a minimal listing, like this:

  • Farm name - products, services
    Address, Phone and/or email. Open: see our website. or Facebook page. (with links to Facebook and website). Directions (link to a map)
    Tree types sold and whether it is precut or choose and cut.

We could always ask customers for feedback and their reviews and opinions about your farm (like Amazon and Google do) and publish that. That makes it a "review". As you must be aware, opinions are protected free speech, over which you would have no control whatsoever.

Patience always helps

Please be polite, as I will be with you. I understand you will get customers who will be upset from time to time. But, as you well know, that does not make them right. Just because they say "PickYourOwnChristmasTree says..." doesn't make it true.  Look on the page, see what we have before you make accusations.

Any savvy business owner periodically, especially in the weeks before a busy season, googles the name and address of their business to see what information appears on which websites about their farm.  And then corrects it.  The Internet is a powerful tool.  It can bring you customers.  It can bring you happy customers if you are proactive and spend just an hour or two PER YEAR to do this.

Again, you can, at any time:

  1. Write a complete new listing using this form: rewrite your listing
  2. Quickly make minor changes using this form: Make a few minor corrections

Finally... we fight for our rights.  We have lawyers on prepaid retainers. We WILL COUNTERSUE TO RECOVER LEGAL FEES AND DAMAGES.

Don't fight us; work with us!


Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book