Ethan and I have talked about different ways we can diversify our farm. One of the things that popped up in our brainstorming was Christmas trees. We don't have enough land to have a full blown tree farm, but we thought that maybe we could plant some to make available to our more loyal customers. It would also be a great way to show them appreciation - we talked about how we could just have them available one day but have winter activities and treats on that day.
I don't know if we will ever go that route with our farm, but I think we will at least plant some for us to cut in the future.
The first year we moved to this area Ethan and I went to a Ma and Pa tree farm to cut our Christmas tree. I don't know if there is a tree farm that could beat this one. Not only were the trees beautifully trimmed - it seemed like almost every tree was a perfect triangle, but the couple who owned the tree farm genuinely cared about their customers. Waiting in the store were hot drinks, treats, and "Ma" and "Pa" who were eager to visit with you while their train circled the track around the ceiling. It seemed as if you were a new neighbor that they were meeting, and they made sure that you signed and dated their guest book when you bought your tree since they had gifts that they handed out to customers who returned so many years in a row.
Unfortunately Ma and Pa decided to retire and must have not had anyone to take over the tree farm. They told us to come on back out the following year anyway, although they wouldn't be advertising. Of course we went back, but we could tell that pickings would be slim after that year.
The following Christmas we began the search for a new tree farm, and we have yet to find one we will return to. One of the farms we went to had squarish trees, but the deal breaker for Ethan was that you weren't allowed to saw them down yourself. This year we found the most expensive farm of them yet. We walked around for an hour and a half and didn't see one tree that was not overly lopsided or bare on one side.
We almost drove away without a tree. The Ma and Pa store had told me earlier in the day (I called with hopes that they reopened) that if we brought our own saw we could just go cut one for free, although the trees hadn't been trimmed for quite awhile. We decided, however, with an approaching storm that we should just get one at the farm we were at if we wanted one this week. We settled on one we had came across earlier in the evening - I figured that with some string I could cinch up some branches to close a large hole, which I did end up doing.
So our search for a tree farm will continue a bit longer, until we can hopefully grow our own. Even so, I was reminded that even if we don't ever find those Christmas card triangle trees again, that is okay. Tonight my four year old son pulled up a chair in front of our lopsided, branches tied up to the trunk, undecorated tree. As he sat there he was grinning and talking out loud to himself saying, "This is the best Christmas tree that I ever had." (And thankfully lights and ornaments can do wonders!)