Wynn Goering and Ardie Schroeder Goering sell Christmas trees at Pine Creek Farm rural Goessel, even though their place of residence the majority of the year is Taos, N.M.
Dividing their time between city and county made them appreciate coming home to the farm so much that their goal at Pine Creek became to sell a whole experience rather than just trees.
“What we have here is so much more than just Christmas trees,” Goering said. “We try to give people the whole experience of coming out to the farm, to provide a place where families can have fun and appreciate nature at the same time.”
Schroeder Goering said she lives at the farm the couple purchased from her parents, Lloyd and Marlene Schroeder, about half of the year and her husband, a teacher at New Mexico State University, comes on vacation times, and each weekend during the Christmas tree sales season.
“We find it a challenge to live like this,” she said. “But it is very much worth it, and we feel it is a wonderful thing to be able to come home to the farm and work outdoors.”
Their own love and appreciation of rural life motivates the Goerings to do all they can to share their experience.
“We encourage people to walk around our three lots and enjoy the natural setting as they pick their Christmas tree,” Goering said. “We have a candy cane maze out there, a nativity scene, and a small shop featuring unique handmade items.”
Goering said their customers come mainly from Marion, Harvey, and McPherson counties.
“We have some families who have been coming for years, and it is fun to see how their children grow up and then bring their own families,” she said. “Many times we will have customers who come from out-of-state even, who are here visiting relatives.”
So far this season, a couple from Colorado Springs stopped by with local relatives, cut, and took their tree with them to Colorado.
Also, a family, visiting relatives in Manhattan stopped by on their way home to cut a tree and take it with them to Fort Worth, Texas.
Most of the trees grown and sold at Pine Creek are Scotch and Australian pines. However, customers also have the option of purchasing a Fraser fir, shipped by truck from Michigan.
“We probably sell about 450 home-grown trees and about 100 to 125 of the Fraser firs each year,” Goering said. “We cannot grow the Fraser firs here, but we pay more to have them cut late and then shipped right before Thanksgiving.”
Marc Voth, a local Goessel farmer, works with the Goerings at the tree farm during the winter months.