Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Going Local-Santa's Forest

Happy Birthday Farmer Lynn!
I am SO thankful that you were born!


December has surprised us with beautiful, clear blue skies
and mild temperatures.
That is supposed to change later this week,
but we were happy to enjoy a field trip in the great outdoors this past weekend.
It was time to procure a Christmas tree
and we knew we wanted to support a local tree farm,
rather than make the purchase from a big box store.

We found a tree farm that has been selling trees for more than a dozen years,
and they are mere minutes from our home here in Lincolnton.
at the Herter Nursery .

This 30-acre tree farm has been in the Herter family for generations,
having had many transformations over the years.
We feel blessed that they are so close to our location
and offer so much,
but it was a bittersweet discovery, as I'll later explain.

The farm offers White Pine, Green Giant, Leyland Cypress
as well as Frazier Firs, which is always the choice for our holiday tree.
This is a choose and cut farm,
which means that you can cut down your own tree
to get that homesteader experience of olden days.

There were still a good selection of trees from which to choose,
and we made our way through the rows,
enjoying the fresh scent of Christmas.
The farm was having a special sale this year,
any tree from the choose and cut area was only $20.

These saplings were also for sale,
and I'm thinking about revisiting them to pick up a couple for our property.
We have an abundance of deciduous trees on our lot,
and it would be nice to have more evergreens 
to retain some privacy 
for our neighbors and ourselves in the winter.

Here's something you don't often see.
Bread and popcorn are left near the pens
so that visitors can feed the goats and pigs beyond the fence.

The sign outside of Bella's run was fair warning
that she doesn't take too kindly to strangers invading her space.
We are grateful that she came through Thanksgiving unscathed.

This character is busy people watching.
A bounce house and a playground area were available for kids to use up some of their energy,
as well as an ornament hunt that children could enjoy.

The fire pit was the perfect place to roast marshmallows,
which are given to every guest at the farm.
There was also a concession area
where hot dogs, chips and drinks were available for purchase.

It was a great day for a ride on the zipline!
For a nominal fee, folks up to 150 pounds could
 get a birds' eye view of the farm.

The hayride was more our speed,
and was probably the best part of our visit.
There was no charge for most of the "extras" at this venue,
including this relaxing tour of the farm.
Just sitting together on the hay bales,
drinking in our surroundings and relishing the chance to be together.
What could be better than spending time with those you love?

The day was absolutely gorgeous and 
even C said he thoroughly enjoyed himself.
That's not always the response we get from our teenaged boy.

One of the three barns on the property was the backdrop
for our family photo.
A fellow visitor to the farm
was kind enough to take our picture in front of this lovely structure.
I can't think of a better way to end our visit.

We picked out our Frasier Fir and loaded up.
It was a wonderful experience and we hope to repeat it in years to come.
The bittersweet part of this story
is that Santa's Forest may not be selling trees next year.
They are considering taking a hiatus or possibly even discontinuing the event altogether.
Everyone we came in contact with at the farm
was so kind and thoughtful.
Thankfully, we read about this magical place in time
to get at least one visit in before they close their doors to Christmas tree enthusiasts.
We certainly wish them well.

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