Christmas tree farms are part of the Michigan expertise. Check out these 4 in the greater Lansing area
Delayed gratification is the focus of business at over 500 Christmas tree farms across Michigan.
“One of the things that keeps people from attending is that it’s not like any other plant where you grow and then harvest and then see a reward,” said Amy Start, executive director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association. “With Christmas trees, it takes eight to ten years for a tree to grow to a salable size. So you basically tie up your land for eight to ten years before you can make a profit.”
Santa Claus puts his hands against a window while Oliver Wright, 3, from Grand Rapids, does the same on the other side during a visit outside Santa’s cabin at Peacock Road Family Farm in Laingsburg on Saturday, December 18, 2020 . Guests visit Santa Claus behind a window. Microphones and speakers are placed inside and outside the cabin so that children and Santa Claus can communicate.
It’s worth the wait, Start said, as thousands of Michigandians visit tree farms every November as part of their holiday traditions.
And nowadays, growing Christmas trees is about so much more than offering a sturdy selection of conifers.
“Fetching a Christmas tree is an experience and then it’s memories,” said Start. “Being with your family and making a day out of it makes it even more special than just going downstairs and grabbing your dusty tree down there and assembling it and putting it in the corner.”
And if you happen to want more than a variety of trees to choose from, don’t worry. There are tree farms with a lot to experience in the greater Lansing area.
Here’s a look at four mid-Michigan tree farms that offer everything from gifts and campfires to horse-drawn carriage rides, a visit to Santa Claus, and an outdoor theater performance.
Carpenter Tree Farm, Eaton Rapids
When Kathy and Rick Carpenter bought 40 acres on the Barnes Highway over three decades ago, the farmer who worked the land said it was not well suited to growing anything other than trees.
Children pet a team of draft horses at Carpenter Tree Farm in Eaton Rapids.
“We decided, ‘Sure, that sounds good,'” said Rick. The couple consulted with experts from Michigan State University and planted their first trees in 1985.
The Carpenter Tree Farm at 11243 Barnes Hwy grows 26,000 trees. This year, the farm’s season begins November 26th and lasts until December 12th. Preparing for this is a lot of work – the carpenters cut every tree every year, keeping the property mowed and weed-free – but they enjoy being part of so many people celebrating the holidays.
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“Ninety-nine percent of the people who come out are in a good mood,” said Rick.
As a guest of the farm, you can drive through the property in one of four horse-drawn carriages. They are encouraged to explore the farm on foot – there are rolling hills and two ponds – and they can purchase wreaths, garlands, and other gifts.
And if you are a fan of live outdoor theater, this is your chance to enjoy it too. Peppermint Creek Theater Co. will perform All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 at the farm on December 11th at 7:00 pm. The show tells how Allied and German soldiers laid down their weapons to celebrate Christmas together.
Visit the Carpenter Tree Farm Facebook page for seasonal hours and other details. Call them at 663-1037.
Family farm Peacock Road, Laingsburg
If you ask Ed Carpenter, 81, why so many people love visiting Christmas tree farms, he just sums it up.
“A hundred to 150 years ago, your ancestors spent most of their time gathering food,” he said. “Well, that’s gone today. Go to Meijer and get it, go home, but the DNA in our hearts is still on the farm. I think that’s why people go to farms like mine to experience a little bit of farming.” Life.”
A fire burns as families distance themselves socially and enjoy warm drinks after meeting Santa Claus at the Peacock Road Family Farm in Laingsburg on Saturday, December 18, 2020.
At the Peacock Road Family Farm at 11854 Peacock Road, he is happy to offer this to people along with Christmas trees.
On the 180-acre property, guests can explore the farm’s Christmas shop, eat fresh donuts, pulled pork, and nachos from the concession area, and see the farm’s animals – alpacas, rabbits, chickens, ducks, horses, and cows among them.
Families can take the farm’s train about half a mile to a log cabin, where children can visit Santa Claus – who will greet them behind glass this year – and enjoy hot chocolate.
Carpenter estimates 20,000 people will be visiting during this holiday season. The farm opened on November 20th and will remain open until December 23rd. Visit the farm’s website at www.peacockrff.com and find her on Facebook on the Peacock Road Family Farm. Call them at 651-9193.
Reverman Farms, Grand Ledge
Jim Reverman’s father introduced him to the Christmas tree farm business. He decided to set up himself on 65 hectares.
The first trees were planted at Reverman Farms at 16500 Forestville Road in 1991.
“You plant them and then you pray a lot that hopefully this tree will be ready in 10 years,” Reverman said.
Take a horse-drawn carriage ride, enjoy candy canes and hot chocolate, and shop in the farm’s gift shop. It’s stocked with jellies, cookies, candy, maple syrup, and other products, all of which are locally made. The shop also sells wreaths made on the farm.
“It only helps the environment,” Reverman said. “People come out to get the tree and take a wagon ride. You could buy a few things from the gift shop.”
Reverman Farms opens November 26th, with hours every Thursday through Sunday through Christmas. Visit the farm’s Facebook page at Reverman Farms. Call them at 627-6204.
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Fir Tree Farms, Mason
No wonder Laurie and Mel Koelling decided four decades ago to start a Christmas tree farm.
Laurie was the executive director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association for over a decade. Mel is a retired professor of forestry at Michigan State University.
Colton Kolka, 4, looked for a tree to fell on the Tannenbaum Tree Farm with his parents last year.
“I grew up on a Christmas tree farm,” said Laurie. “I didn’t think I’d go back to a Christmas tree farm, but that’s where life takes you sometimes. We love the business. “
Fir Tree Farms is located at 2515 Sandhill Road.
Explore the trees there on foot or take a wagon ride to the concession hut. There you can enjoy a campfire and drink hot chocolate and hot apple cider. The farm also offers cookies, donuts, and hot dogs.
You can also buy gifts, decorations and ornaments in the farm’s Christmas shop.
“We have big trees, a lot of trees over ten feet tall,” said Laurie. “And that’s really important for people who have the big home with a big ceiling and want a fresh tree.”
Fir Tree Farms opens for the season on November 26th. Visit the farm’s Facebook page at Tannenbaum Farms. Call them at 332-2094.
Contact Rachel Greco at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ.
This article originally appeared in the Lansing State Journal: Christmas Tree Farming is Part of the Michigan Experience. Look at this