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Made in Michiana: Pinecrest Tree Farm

Made in Michiana: Pinecrest Tree Farm

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GALIEN, Mich.-- Christmas is now 23 days away which means it’s time to start decorating your Christmas tree.

Before that, if you prefer a real tree, you have to go to a tree farm, pick one out, then cut it down.

This week's Made in Michiana takes us to Pinecrest Farm in Galien, where they show us how each tree goes from seed to living room. 

When driving up to Pinecrest Farm in Galien, you’ll see hundreds of trees as far as the eye can see.

“1968 was the first year that we planted trees. My mom was actually right outside here. She’d stand with a measuring pole, her snowmobile suit, carpenter apron, and that’s how we started selling trees. It was all Scotch Pines at that time because that was the easiest tree to plant here in Michigan. Now we’re up to 7 different varieties of trees that we sell," said Kris Goodenough, partial owner of Pinecrest Farm.

Giving families a lot to choose from.

Families get to pick a tree and cut it down themselves.

That process only takes a few minutes, but actually growing a tree that's ready to go into your living room takes years.

“We plant, we do all the prep and care for the trees up until they’re eight to ten years old. Then they come out, cut their tree down, we help shake the dead needles out, then we wrap it up and send them off," said Goodenough.

At Pinecrest Farm, the experience is more than simply cutting down a tree.

“We try do as much as we can to make it a family friendly experience  with the horse rides and wagon rides out to the field. We do free hot chocolate and coffee for when you’re done picking out your tree," said Goodenough.

Its that wholesome holiday experience that has families traveling hundreds of miles.

“We come from Chicago the night before." said Sharon Jahns, a customer for four generations.

“We’re from Dyre, Indiana and we found it last year, so we drove about an hour and ten minutes to get here," said Jill McLaughlin. Her family traveled more than 100 miles for a tree.

And for multiple generations.

“20 some years. 25 of us, 4 generations. We’ve done it every Friday after Thanksgiving," said Jahns.

Goodenough says the countdown is on for families to get their trees.

“Almost 50 years of doing this now, we’ve seen the waves go up and down as things go. Right now there’s not enough christmas trees for everybody. There’s not enough tree farms and fresh trees so get out and get your tree quick," said Goodenough. 

Business at Pinecrest Farm doesn’t end when the holidays do.

“There is something all year long to do. We’ll have a tiny break after Christmas but we will actually be headed to Atlanta to be doing our buying for our Christmas shop by mid January already so we’ll be having to get everything purchased for next season," said Goodenough.

It’s the memories to be made around their Christmas trees that makes the years long process all worthwhile.  

“We put so much time and care into the trees over all the years. People when they get here they're in such a good mood and that Christmas spirit is just radiating off of everybody so it’s a great feeling this time of the year," said Goodenough.

 

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