Christmas is just around the corner, and people are flocking to Hann's Christmas Farms near the Dane County community of Oregon.
“We want to make our customers feel like they are experiencing Christmas when they walk onto the farm,” says owner Greg Hann. “People are amazed that you can drive 15 minutes out of Madison and experience the country. Our customers are looking for an experience when they pick out their Christmas tree, and that’s exactly what our staff provides. We give wagon rides, have hot cider and treats, a Christmas store, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and different events or attractions every weekend during the season. Some families spend an entire day when they come to our farm.”
Hann’s father started the Christmas tree farm in 1968 when he purchased a few acres of land and began planting trees on the vacant portions of the property. When they harvested their first crop of trees, they sold out in just three days. Since that time, the farm has grown to 50 acres and is a full-time business for Hann.
“In order to make the business go year-round, we’ve added attractions and products, including the Christmas store and a wholesale wreath business,” says Hann. “Our staff of around 70 part-time employees makes around 4,200 wreaths each year that are sold mostly through youth fundraisers in the area. It makes me feel good that we are contributing to the local economy.”
At the farm, customers have the option of purchasing a precut tree or going out to the fields to select and cut their own. The typical season for purchasing Christmas trees has extended since Hann first began selling trees.
“Times are certainly changing in terms of when people buy their Christmas trees,” he says. “It used to be that people would buy their tree during the first few weeks of December. Now people start cutting trees on the first of November. We sell many trees around and even on Thanksgiving, as well.”
When it comes to picking out the right Christmas tree, Hann has some advice.
“I tell my customers, the right tree for them is the one they fall in love with. I recommend that people feel the needles to see how soft they are. Also, brush or lightly shake the tree to ensure that needles aren’t already falling off. On our website, we provide people with directions to care for their tree so that it lasts throughout the holiday season.”
Hann offers six varieties of trees including Fraser, balsam and Canaan firs, white and Scotch pines, and the Colorado blue spruce. Fraser and balsam firs are the most popular trees among Hann’s customers.
“Like any agricultural commodity, people don’t see all of the work that goes on throughout the entire year to grow a successful crop,” says Hann. “When I’m out in the field, I know that people will be putting this tree in their home to celebrate Christmas. I work every day to grow the perfect Christmas tree for my customers and their families. Growing the trees is just as rewarding to me as interacting with customers.”
Giebel lives in Baraboo.