Daniel Weeber wrote:Christmas Tree season is about to start once again (the day after Thanksgiving). This year, I mowed the grass/clover 4 times in between the trees and I removed a few stumps. This took me about 14 hours total. I believe its pretty important to select the right ground cover mix for the trees, because it could help with fertilization. My ground cover could use some work, but I also didn't use any fertilizer this year.
I did not "shape" the trees, which would have taken much more time. I personally think that this only needs done every other year. I'm planning to spend about another 16 hours over the next week mowing the ground cover again and cleaning up the yard / trees. I will likely spend a significant amount of time helping customers though. I'd still recommend this to anyone that is looking for a winter income. The customers are thrilled when they visit, and it's really a pleasure to have such a fun customer base.
For next year, I've been bouncing around the idea of planting pumpkins in between the trees and raising heritage turkeys to create more of a "holiday" location. (The turkeys would be for sale for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and the pumpkins would be for Halloween and pies). My concern is that the pumpkins will climb the trees and break some of the limbs. However, expanding like this could produce income for October, November, and December.
I've seen other value added activities, such as corn mazes, pumpkin cannons, pony rides, santa pictures, etc, but I don't really like the idea of creating an amusement park.
Dave Hunt wrote:I like your ideas. My wife wants to start raising some meat chickens next year (we have layers now) she also suggested raising a few turkeys (naming them Thanksgiving and Christmas her joke not mine). You said you have about 1000 trees? How many acres do you have planted with trees? How long did it take from planting to harvest? Do you have any good bulk sources for seedlings? I was thinking about planting a few trees (50) on my property for Christmas trees. It would be pretty neat to make a tradition of taking my boys (20 months and newborn) out to cut down our Christmas tree every year.
Dean Moriarty wrote:Just a thought... Can you set up any sort of "upsells" with the Christmas trees? I know when we went as kids, there was a little cabin where we paid for the trees, and in there they had all kinds of other things to buy. From cheesy Santa decorations, to candles, to fresh wreathes (from trimming the trees, I assume), and lots of other stuff.
I know a lot of pumpkin patches turn there visits into entire day adventures with hayrides, corn mazes, and such. Seems like there's an opportunity to do the same thing with your christmas tree farm.