News

New folks but same spirit

KINGSTON — After a half-century of working on the 100-acre farm off Minder Road, first growing raspberries with the property’s original owners then growing and selling Christmas trees there, Henry Meybohm has retired from Henry’s Tree Farm.

With hopes to continue the long standing holiday tree harvest, Detlev Kroll (son of the farm’s first owners) and his wife Gale, have decided to carry on the tradition.

While Detlev helped picked raspberries on the farm as a child, he, Gale and their kids initially came into the picture about four years ago to assist Meybohm with the farm. While they expected to find a manager to take over after he retired, the plan never panned out. So, the Kroll family decided to run the farm themselves, taking care of 20 acres of Christmas trees.

“We’re a glutton for punishment,” Detlev said with a chuckle.

The couple takes the whole month off from work to be on the farm every day to help customers throughout the season, while family members come assist on the weekends.

“It’s really fun when people come and they’re excited and having fun,” Gale said of the customers. “People say ‘Don’t ever quit doing this.’”

The fresh air and work is enjoyable, too, Detlev added.

The farm has at least a dozen varieties available, Gale said, including Noble, Shasta, Frasier, Nordman, Balsam and Grand fir, Norway and Blue spruces and pines and Douglas fir.

And if people need something for their 14-foot cathedral ceilings, they’ll be able to find it at Henry’s.

“If people are looking for big trees, this is the place to come,” Gale said.

The farm has been open since mid-November, but the Krolls expect this weekend and next weekend to be the biggest in sales. On average, they sell between 400-500 trees during a busy weekend and 2,000 overall during the season.

“We’re off to a great start this year, so if it keeps up, we’ll break our record (of 2,000),” Gale said.

New on the farm is the gift shop in the barn, filled with wooden items, such as trellises and birdhouses, and ceramic garden decor. Gale added antique doors from the property’s old home as a back drop for the shop, primarily to break the wind gusts that blow through the barn, but also to provide a rustic touch. There will also be hot cocoa, coffee and hot cider available.

There will also be wreaths for sale that the original owner, 94-year-old Carl Kroll, puts together, as well as bundles of greens sold by the pound or in 10 lbs. bunches.

Gale believes people come to the farm year after year because of the atmosphere.

“People have told us how beautiful it is, how park-like it is, how well maintained the trees are,” she said. “We really take good care of our trees. They have nice color this year.”

For those who want to wait until closer to the holiday to cut down the tree, they can choose and tag whichever one they want ahead of time. The farm also delivers trees for a fee.

Gale said the season has gotten off to a great start but it’s not the same.

“It’s been going really well,” she said, however, “lots of people miss Henry.”

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