The Beginning of the Highland Flats Farm

How many have been to the Highland Flats Tree Farm? Oh, yes. Well, this is a wonderful story that unfolded over a number of years. On weekends when we were harvesting the lavender, Mary and I would take off and drive looking for wild tansy. This is what we were doing the day we found the tree farm; we were looking for wild tansy.

A guy was on a D6 bulldozer and was piling and burning old, overgrown Christmas trees. I just thought, oh my goodness, he’s burning those beautiful trees. I jumped out of the car, ran over, and talked to him. He was hired by the owner, so he gave me the phone; and I called the owner in California and asked him what he was doing. And he said, “Well, I can’t sell the trees; there’s no money in it, so I’m taking them out so that I can put another crop in.”

And I said, “Can I have the trees?”

And he said, “Well, what do you want the trees for?”

And I said, “I don’t know, but I’ll clear your land in exchange for the trees.”

And he said, “Wow, that’d be fabulous, it’s costing me $600 an acre for clearing the trees and burning them.”

Well, I was excited; he was excited. The contractor, who lost his job, wasn’t too excited. But that’s where it began.

When I got back to the car I told Mary that I had just made a deal for all of the trees. She looked at me, as she does some of the times, you know, and her eyes are kind of wide, and I can see the wheels turning in the background: I really did marry a crazy guy. He’s been up too late at night, he gets up too early in the morning, he’s lost it. Now he wants all of these—what in the world is he going to do with these trees?

How many of you like balsam fir oil? Cedar oil? Pine oil? Blue spruce oil? Yes. And the farm is growing and growing and growing in Highland.

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