We have gotten our Christmas tree at the same farm in Tualatin every year – except one – since Quinland was born. It is a Century Farm, one that has been operating for over 100 years. It was owned by the Jurgens and Martinazzi families, long-time pioneers with streets named after them; the current family has been there since 1969.
It’s your standard tree farm with one exception: the city has grown up around it. The farm is surrounded on three sides by housing tracts and on the fourth by a couple of older homes and a wetlands area. It’s a bit strange, the first couple of times you go there, to feel that if you lived nearby you could buy your Christmas tree and then toss it over your backyard fence.
Still, I really like the idea that the same family has lived there and run this farm for about as long as I have been alive, and that they have made a conscious decision to keep the farm going. It’s also fun to make the yearly trek back down to Tualatin. We moved to Portland when Q was six, so she lived there for almost half her life.
Our trip this year began with the standard debate: Noble Fir vs. Douglas Fir. We traditionally get a Doug Fir, but last year we got a very full and very tree-shaped Noble. (I don’t like too much space between the branches.) David prefers Douglas Firs, but I think we found a Noble that was full enough to please each of us.
Quinland fetched the man with the chainsaw and measuring stick. Our tree came in at a just-right 7′ tall. He cut it, then loaded into a little cart behind his John Deere tractor. This was new; we’d always carried our tree off the lot in previous years, but I was happy to get a little less sap on my hands this time.
We walked into the main garage to pay for the tree and warm up with the traditional hot apple cider. (The one year we didn’t get our tree here? We showed up as usual, but there was a sign on this door: “Gone to Hawaii. See you next year.” We got our tree at Fred Meyer that year; it just wasn’t the same.)
We got there just as they were refilling the pot and it would not be hot for a while yet. We were chilled enough by this time that we chugged some lukewarm cider and hopped into the warm car, giving thanks for heated seats.
Most years, we get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, but I always get panicky about fire hazards by the time Christmas rolls around. Quinland heard that a flocked tree is fire resistant, so she wants to get one of those next year so I don’t have to worry (and so that we can go back to regular incandescent lights). The lights might sway me.
My favorite photo of the day:
I love that girl. And I love this picture, because I can pretend I am still taller than she is, instead of just standing slightly uphill.
Christmas Tree-Buyers: what is your favorite kind of tree? Do you go to a farm, to the woods, or to a retail tree lot? Do you have to pay an arm and a leg? (Our prices went up this year, but it is still less than what we paid for a tree when I was young in Southern California.)
- I’m grateful! for the dry weather, perfect for a trip to the tree farm.
- I’m lighter! I sorted out more things to sell on eBay, recycled a bunch of papers I’d been hanging onto, cleaned almost the whole main floor, did two loads of laundry, and played a game of Agricola. Then I found and charged my phone, looked at my calendar, and realized I was going to go to a crop at my friend Sue’s house today. Ooops.