A while back I was riding through the countryside and noticed a deer who was planning on crossing the road…thus I slowed down watched as she gracefully traversed into what looked like a plantation of trees. I then noticed the sign that read ‘tree farm’. I stopped to take a picture of the deer among the beautifully laid out trees when I noticed a man walking toward me. He would be the ‘tree farmer.’
Ian Forbes has been tree farming for almost 20 years now. The farm is called Dixieland Tree Farm and is located at 12189 Versailles Slvrck Road in Irving NY (Just outside of Silver Creek.) He is the eighth generation to own the 55 acre farm and has 15 acres of trees – mostly for Christmas harvesting. His mother was from France and his father from here in Western NY. He served in the US Army for 10 years before coming home to Irving to farm with his dad.
He and his wife raised their daughter on this picturesque land and he hopes she will want to have it at some point in her adult life. His father still helps out on the farm and his mother moved back to France but visits a couple times a year. They have chickens and his wife wanted a peacock so the majestic bird owns the yard. His advice in life is to always be happy to go to work and he learned from his parents to work in peace which he has done for 30 years.
Christmas is their big time of the year and if you visit with Ian he will share all the hints on choosing the right kind of tree for your home and family. He asks a bunch of questions that even include learning about your pets. There are trees that have different color tones and the Concolor Fir tree smells like oranges! Frasier trees are skinny and cats hate Blue Spruce trees because they are prickly.
Dixieland Tree farm practices sustainable farming in all of their cropping and replanting every year. It takes 5-6 years for a Blue Spruce to grow to harvest level so unlike planting a tomato, tree farming takes planning and patience.
Dixieland Tree Farm is open Noon til dark week days and 10 til dark on the weekends until Christmas. Trees are $40 and you can cut your own or choose from some already prepared.
Ian told me that the best thing about farming is seeing how happy people are during the Christmas season… “Its only 30 days but its really fun.” When I asked what the worst part of farming was he said – without blinking – “there is none…if there was I wouldn’t do it.”
If you want a great family experience – take a ride out to the country and visit Ian and his wife, meet the peacocks and maybe even see a graceful deer or two.