The phone rang Wednesday afternoon. It was Kim at the bank who wanted to give me a story idea. Melanie Davis was in and they were visiting about her family’s Christmas Tree farm newly opening up north of Luther.
She handed the phone to Melanie whom I had met at our November Luther Business Meet & Greet at The Chicken Shack. Turns out she was heading back to the farm right then to meet their first customer. Since it was on my list to visit the farm this weekend, I asked if I could meet her there.
I didn’t look up the address again, deciding to just follow the signs that I had noticed all along Luther Road beginning at Hwy 66.
What could be more enchanting than a country drive complete with dirt roads, deer and turkey sightings (safely off the road), beautiful fields and farms along the way? After hanging a right on Seward, and when you think you might have gone too far, you see a wooden slatted bridge covering a dramatic ravine. Know then, you’ve made it to the Davis Family Tree Farm. It’s a journey of family adventure. And it’s worth it.
Tom and Melanie, their sons, and a host of crew, family and friends, have been working on this dream for six years, when they planted the first saplings on the beautiful property at Seward and Pottawatomie Roads. Now they have 20,000 Virginia Pines, Scotch Pines and a few Loblollies. They grow on gently sloping hills with generous irrigation. Each pine stand is ridged with native cross timbers making a vibrant contrast in color this time of year.
Six years of growth, cultivating, sweat and tears, the Tree Farm is ready to welcome visitors. Those of us who try our hand at farming – whether with a few chickens, a small garden, a ranch or a crop know that any agricultural endeavor is not for sissies! Tom and Melanie clearly have loved the adventure, and are grateful for the community and support from their tree cooperative of other tree farmers, and the Forestry Department.
Good friends Leslie Kuykendall and her sons, HG and Cole, were the first customers. They drove in from Oklahoma City and had lunch at The Chicken Shack, (#LutherLocal). Up the road to the Davis Farm, they hopped the little train (ATV with a passenger car) for a jingle bell ride along a trail that led to the available trees.
At first glance, the scene reminds one of the movie, Narnia, (without the snow, sadly) with a verdant sea of trees. Tom said each tree is different, just like people. It seems he knows each one of them, which ones the deer have munched on, which ones need some extra cheering to grow a new branch, which ones grew a little faster than the others.
After analyzing several pines for character, strength, height and width, the Kuykendalls found just the right tree (actually they went back to the very first tree they liked), and within minutes, the boys had put the new saw to good use cutting through the trunk as close to the ground as possible.
While their tree was being shaken, bored with a hole for the tree stand and wrapped up for safe travel, the Kuydendalls visited Mrs. Claus’ cottage for homemade cookies and hot chocolate.
Leslie said the whole experience was a memory maker for her family.
“It’s worth the drive to come pick out a tree and step back in time a little bit.”
Her teenage boys made mom happy and agreed.
“It was lit.”
“Yeah, it was good bonding.”
After returning to the parking lot, a young family with three little ones was ready to board the little train for their ride to the Christmas Tree Woods.
The farm is closed Thanksgiving Day but open Friday and every day from 10am until dark through the season.
Click here for the website. And please do what you can to support #LutherLocal.