Changes needed on the Christmas tree farm after years of use.

At East Fork Christmas Tree Farm we have had a successful tree farm for years. Now after 21 years there has been changes to the farm. Some do to population growth in the area. Some of it due to our goals and plans for the farm. Today is just two tree farmers talking about what our potential plans are. #christmastrees @FlanaganHomestead

Hello Rob here from the plig and Homestead and Eastport Christmas Tree Farms uh today I want to talk about Growing pains on a Christmas tree farm Uh I've referenced some videos like if You want to start a farm you need to Know where you're going to be at in 10 Years well we're 21 22 years later now And we're forced to make some changes I Don't know how good a video this is Going to make uh actually but uh uh We're you're going to see some real Conversations between Barry and I Barry's holding the camera right now He's my partner on the Christmas tree Farm and this is actually his family l That we're farming and so we are going To need to make some changes in the next Few years not this year but we want to Start planning ahead so let me set the Table for you uh We've started out with About 5 Acres we built this little Christmas cabin here to sell out of and When we were small this my car is parked Here there's about six cars could fit in The middle of this Loop and Maybe 20 more possibly around here we Could have 25 at a time and then as Things went on we we had people parked Way up the street here uh not quite to Where the school bus is that you can see Coming but we had people parking way up Here uh one of the issues we have now Though is since we had the farm okay we

Moved a little bit while the bus was Going by but as I was saying uh Barry's Daughter Cory Joe and Derek they built a House right here so basically took not An acre but maybe a half acre out they They bought 5 acres here that we have Trees on so we have trees on five well Four and a half acres probably of Derrick and Cory Joe's probably a couple Thousand trees on Barry's actual Property and probably a few thousand More trees on his mom's property out There we're moving out into the Hayfield So we actually have more trees in the Ground than we've had in the past and we Want to expand our business and doing More in sales but we're not going to be Able to host them all and bring them all Right through here so we're going to Talk about the changes that we're making Potentially in the future so here's the Road View of our Christmas cabin where We sold trees we got chickens in here Right now we usually have our petting Zoo in here and what we think is Potentially we're moving up this way and Going to go down this roow and meet the Uh customers at a couple barns back Here okay we're on the Side Road in the Back side of the house you can see the Trees off in the distance There and we have a nice Barn over here We'll take a closer look and then holder Red Barn over here they both nice to

Have around but uh we're looking at Potentially using these in the future as We get more customers here so Barry Loves being on camera you've seen him a Few times before if you followed the Channel but so we've got the really nice Barn that they originally built uh for Cory Joe's wedding right pretty much and He knew he'd be using it for other Things they've had a lot of weddings and Parties and storing stuff there and That's the old barn that's been there For how many years 50 plus 50 plus years So uh we're thinking about trying to Move meeting our customers back here We've uh been short on trees for the Last several years but we're getting to Where we're going to have a large amount Again and we hope to get close to Selling 200 a day uh again for a while So uh if we move back here one of the Goals to move back here uh Barry's wife Has hooked up with some vendors that Want to sell out of these Barns and They're actually going to sell this year Out of the barn but you see the Barn's 70 yards behind me that way and we're The shed that we sell out of is 70 yard That way and we have a hard time getting People back there and so uh if we bring People back and park them back here and Sell to the Barns and the nice thing is The new barn has electricity which there Was no electricity out in the barn so we

Can run our shaker and a Baer or well Not a Baer but we can run other Equipment and lights and whatever else We need out there so we want to move This way um I personally when we are Staying open more I'm probably going to Order order some uh Trinkets and Decorations and whatnot for the farm I Have a friend that has a wholesale Business that has really good decorating She'd give me some recommendations that We'll bring in and once we're open for More weeks instead of just a short Amount of time we're going to be selling Out there so we want people back here so Uh we got to figure that out but we got To be able to park people back here so You know if you're going to sell 200 Trees in a weekend uh at some point in Time you're probably going to have 40 Cars get about 40 cars at some point in Time that 1:00 hour on Sunday seems to Be a big one for us um so um you might Be able to see we got the road coming Back here is quite Narrow and so one we got to figure out a Traffic Pattern and Two where are we going to park all these People So we were briefly discussed this the Other day what what do we well we talked About we talked about potentially Widening a section of this road so that

When people come around the Corner um anybody going out can just go To the side let them come and cuz it's So narrow at the one point we can't Broaden that so we're going to have to Do that maybe where they can have a a Passing uh Lane here and then we talked About behind me right here uh moving Actually some of the trees selling some Of the bigger ones this year and next Year and then moving some of the ones we Planted uh that are just a year or two Old and putting them back out into the Spots that we sell trees this year in And uh maybe putting some gravel down And making that parking space let's take A closer look at that yeah so the one Barn is right behind the trees there Here's the other Barn this is what Barry Was referencing right here we uh had a Lot of nordans in here they're really Popular but most of them are gone so if We sell this one this year and this one We've have a lot of really small trees Starting the ground but we can Probably get them out and that'll create Some parking here so we could do a lot Of gravel here and up here but I you know we'd have to take some Measurements to see if we can get enough Parking back in here or how to Coordinate it one of the benefits When The camera's off there was talking about Is this is a

Section that doesn't grow trees very Well anyway uh or kind of in here there Was we've tried to grow Nobles and GRS And they didn't do very well uh Sometimes they do sometimes they don't The Nordman seem to do all right there's This is where they used to feed the Cattle right in the old barn years and Years ago exactly and there's something In the soil that the trees don't grow That great right here so we might take Some of this over for a parking Lot so as we're looking at this right Now I don't think we're really going to Have enough parking right Here do you I don't think so we might We'll have to get creative or we might Even move over across Ross the street Here across the road you figure out are You willing to give up that grass land We may have to yeah we may have to and Then so there might be areas around this Red Barn that we park do you in well There's no power currently in the Red Barn correct yeah so probably our sales Or whatnot and Shaker would need to be At least closer to This Barn yes and Then uh like I said we'll be selling Retail items decorations and whatnot so Um I guess we're looking at just kind of Trying to create parking around this red Barn out in this area that we were Talking about we have discussed the Possibility of people uh the cabin that

We showed you at the start of the video People coming in there picking up their Trees coming around and coming out here Or I don't know just parking along there And then coming back out but uh if if You've uh dealt with this before and you Have any great ideas let us know because We are about to take off in a couple Years with the number of trees we had in The ground if if you haven't been Watching the videos we had a lot of Trees in the ground then we lost some Space and and Barry didn't want to plant Some trees for a few years through just Kidding got us a little bit behind but We we have a lot of trees in the ground For our size and so we're going to be uh Sals are hopefully going to be going way Up in about 3 more years yeah and so uh We need to have a plan to get people in Here So besides Parking you know we want customers to Come back there pay get their hot Chocolate uh Buy ornaments and whatnot but we don't Want the Shaker right in the barn so We're just discussing probably setting Up the Shaker is that think yeah maybe Taking out taking out these berries and Bring bringing our power out here Setting up maybe two shakers uh if we're Getting bigger out here and uh simple Simple to move those raspberries and the

Grap there and then potentially have Parking behind them and uh easy flow in And out of the barn hopefully uh so the Vendors can be Successful and access to the trees so Yeah what I don't know if this is a good Idea or not but we're just brainstorming Yeah do we we have two shakers instead Of one Shaker here and leave the other One by the other Barn that separates our Crew and and we also have our trees you Know as you as we had happen all Throughout our career is different Sections of the farm are More uh ready to be harvested than other Sections so having a Shaker over there And if most of the trees are over there They're not going to even come over here Again you know what I mean yeah that's a Really good point when you you want your Crew coming back right by you over you Know not that they're not doing a good Job but you know to communicate what's Going on so if we have half of our crew Out there or over here then it it just Wouldn't work as efficiently two Crews Yeah you're the money guy you can't be In two places at once that's true I I am The one that collects the money um yeah That's true two two shakers and all the Crew working right here would probably Be more efficient than one here yeah and One out over there so we just got to Find a way to get everybody everybody

Back here all right so now the the barns Are behind us over there the edge of the Trees are over here one thing we're Talking about is uh this ground is Pretty firm most of the even when it Gets a little bit wet so we've way off In the distance you probably can't see It but you can see the change in the Ground there's a couple thousand young Trees you can see a few young trees Right here but uh when they have Weddings and whatnot obviously it's in The summer so it's dryer they could park I mean we have about 10 acres of Hayfield out here that's flat and it's Any car could drive on it but how much Can it survive a Northwest winter with People driving on it um but because it's Hey it's pretty deep rooted and it Should hold up as opposed to just uh Grass so we may have to give that a try It it's such good Farmland that we don't Want to be putting gravel down there or Rock down there to cover that up and That's not something the family wants to Have happening so uh we're just Again how much can this hold up to wet Weather and or if we' use it on just Weekends so it's not getting pounded it Might work so again just trying to think Our way through it yeah and we're only 50 yards away from the barn you can't See that from here but so it's still Easy access to any vendors that may be

In the barn and and uh yeah it would Probably be a weekend ordeal I don't Think it you know during the Week and you know when we had we we Approached about 200 trees on a good day Uh in the past before we were down on Inventory and cars had to park way up The street when we were doing that and They had to go along way so if a car had To park here and get to the barn here it It wouldn't be that big of an issue plus We'd uh take the trees to the Shaker Which would be over there by the barn They'd come and just get their vehicle And pull it up and we'd load them up Right there and go from there um one of The other things that we're talking About so we want our sales to come back Up we we used to be open many weekends But uh like I said we're low on trees Cuz we didn't plant as many as we Normally do for several years and we're Catching back up so in about 3 years We're going to be rolling again pretty Good but uh we want to build we've lost Some of our customer base because we've Only been open basically one weekend for The last couple years and probably the Next couple years and so we're Considering and we've never done it Before bring buying wholesale trees and Bringing them in and selling them on the Farm uh the next couple years just so we Could stay open another couple weekends

And start building things back up but we We had no problem building up our Customer base um when we first opened we Had good trees we have the great service Our boys will cut the trees and haul Them out for you load them up free hot Chocolate and people loved it and they Were coming back but when we had so few Trees they've had to go other places but Uh one of the nice things around here Well nice well bad thing good thing is Uh some of the tree farms are getting Plowed under and uh turning into houses Because this is a really fast growing Area so we have more customers coming in And less competition yeah and and during The shortage of Christmas trees one one Of the uh local Growers and uh retail Tree Farmers did just that he brought in He had to bring in um some some cut Trees and and and he had no problem Moving those trees so that's kind of why We're thinking we would do the same Thing to continue to hopefully build up Some of those those the clientel again Yeah one of the just as a different side Note but uh Uh everybody's doing Christmas earlier And earlier you know and it used to be You started after Thanksgiving now seems Like most of the bigger Farms are Starting the weekend before Thanksgiving And uh I have some good friends from our Church so put their tree up the day

After Halloween but you know obviously real That's unfortunate you know that's well To be honest as a Christmas performer That's a scary trend for me that yeah Christmas is pushing all the way up to Halloween I mean they're not the only Ones there's a lot of people that are Getting their Christmas decorations up Now and people are wanting to push all The way to Halloween they're not going To want a grand fur in their house you Know that it's just not going and they Might make it with a Nordman but they're Not going to make it that long with some Of the trees so um a lot of people that Love the real Christmas tree but love Christmas maybe saying hey I'm going to Get myself a fake tree and so I can Leave it up longer yeah hope it's not The case but we'll See all right Actually do you have any thoughts on What we would uh sell out of the barns Or have you not really thought do we Want to sell our own stuff oh yeah yeah I'm going to Lor's already all over that Lor's got Lori and actually I you know I Used to be artistic so I I've drawn up Uh you know these kind of hats oh is This not this kind of hat but a you know Some hats and some shirts and you know Every are we on right now are do it Didn't know we were on um just like they

Do it at a lot of the uh the pubs you Know they've got their t-shirts and Their hats and so Lor's already got Something planned for that um there are Um vendors there's a guy that does Incredible woodwork he wants to be a Part of it he's actually been a part of It before but that's when we found out He was too far away from the the Activity it hard to bring people to him He had some gorgeous stuff some amazing Stuff but um it was just very difficult To bring the people that to that side of The barn um that side of the farm I Should say yeah you know other than that I'm not sure exactly what that would Look like you know Lorie Lori really Wants to have uh quality good quality Things that people would really want as Gifts um it's a perfect time we we we've Had many inquiries about wreaths so Maybe there'll be some wreaths um we can Do some of that but yeah we'll see we'll Have to see it amazes me the people Still come looking for reads not that They're not nice I like a wreath my Horiculture class is going to start Making the wreath but everybody's Selling them I mean everybody's Fundraiser or what not yet we we still Have people that get to the farmers like You haven't been hit up by the senior Class or the cheerleaders or a baseball Team I mean everybody's selling re but

People still come out to the farm and Want some re yeah they do and and they They're selling them at at the local Stores too and they're and they're very Difficult to compete with the prices Some of them are being sold at so but People still love those fresh ones I Believe that's the difference maybe yeah All right so we just had to get Barry on Camera again he's got to get some credit Here too he's been working on it but uh That was just a brief discussion about What are we going to be doing in the Future here's the beautiful Barn that They've done weddings out of that we're Going to use much more on the Christmas Tree farm in the near future and thanks For joining me on the Flanigan Homestead Where Christmas trees are my business Teaching including Horticulture is my Job and outdoor projects are my passion Hope to see you again soon be blessed Everyone

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