The name Family Tree Farm was chosen for two reasons. One, because family helps us here on the farm all the time and second, the farm has been in Karen’s family for seven generations. Adam Strayer was the first deed holder in 1810. Karen’s grandparents, Howard and Estie Flinchbaugh, grew tobacco on the farm and her grandmother is listed in the 1900 census records as a cigar maker. Karen’s father and mother, Howard (Hops) and Lorraine Flinchbaugh, were dairy farmers until the early 1980’s. After that, Hops crop farmed the land until he retired. Hops’ retirement from farming started the family on the Christmas tree farm path. Like many farmers who retired, he needed to stay busy, so Rick Doyle, Karen’s husband, suggested they plant a tree farm. Rick’s family, the Doyles from Whitehall, Maryland, had been very successful with their Christmas tree operation since the late 1970’s. Hops kept the trees in tip top condition until his death in 1998. The farm then passed to the current generation, Rick and Karen Doyle, who have expanded Family tree Farm to it’s current size and are excited to say that a succession plan for the next generation has already begun. Family Tree Farm was awarded Pennsylvania's Bi-Centennial Farm Award for keeping the farm in the family for over 200 years.
We have many families who made choosing their tree from our farm a family tradition since we began in 1995. We are thrilled to see a second generation continuing the tradition by coming to our farm to start their Christmas season. Thank you for your continued support.
Farm activities start late winter when we trim our apple trees in our easy “you pick” orchard. Early spring seed catalogs start arriving in our mailbox and we spend hours going through them picking the best varieties of sweet corn, vegetables, pumpkins and flowers to plant. Usually late March or early April we are in the fields planting Christmas trees.
Mid-April we begin planting our sweet corn and will plant every 10 days through late spring to ensure loads of fresh sweet corn through the summer months. Early to mid-May, we plant our vegetables and flowers for our “you pick” flower garden. Mid-June we plant our pumpkins.
Our roadside stand located at 4802 Dairy Road opens July when our sweet corn is ready and remains open through the end of September. Open daily, we have fresh picked sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions, peaches, plums, apples and more available for your choosing. Ah, summer! August and September are two of the best months in Pennsylvania for fresh fruits and vegetables. September, we move into “pick your own” apples. We have a seven acre orchard set up perfectly for easy picking.
October, we move up the road from our roadside stand to 4688 Dairy Road. We have loads of fun in October with Family Fun Weekends. We have a corn maze with two games in it. One for all, a “who done it” mystery, and another “who done it” mystery for our young 2-6 year old visitors. There is a straw bale tube slide, paint a pumpkin, dress our scarecrows, fling apples at a target and more. We also have free tractor/wagon rides to the pumpkin patch and apple orchard.
Christmas begins here on the farm with our open house the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Come out and tag a tree and check out our freshly decorated wreaths, roping and more. Opening day is the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). We are open daily through December 23rd. Walk with your family or take the free wagon ride through 40 acres of live evergreens and choose and cut your own Christmas centerpiece. You will also find plenty of holiday and seasonal greenery including fresh roping, decorated and un-decorated wreaths, fresh cut trees from our farm on our own tree lot, live trees and more!
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