A family tradition started with a question. "What would grow best in this type of soil?"
John Vormittag was asking a county agricultural representative about a sample of dirt from the 63-acre farm he had just purchased in Tallmadge Township in Ottawa County, Michigan.
The farm came with a brand new Ford tractor, an old house and 32 head of cattle. But John wanted to do more than raise livestock and wondered what would thrive in the sandy soil.
Christmas trees were the answer. John knew about pine trees. In 1935, he had joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked in reforestation for two years in northern Michigan.
So in 1954, John and his wife, Gertrude, planted a field of Scotch pine seedlings. The annual springtime planting became a ritual that continues today.
When the Vormittags moved from Grand Haven to the farm, they already had three daughters: Linda, Rose and Pat. Three more children followed: Janet, Lorraine and John.
For several years the farm consisted of both cattle and trees. But the time came when hay and corn were no longer planted, and pines, firs and spruces dominated the landscape.
The farm was a family venture with the kids helping to plant, trim, and sell the trees. As the children married, their spouses also lent a hand, especially during the busy December weekends when the fields filled with families hunting for the perfect tree to cut and take home. Soon grandchildren were involved. One of their jobs was to help make the fresh wreaths that hang on the barn for sale.
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday - Sunday 8:00 am to 5:30 pm