Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas Trees

This year I will be selling Christmas trees at my Garden Centre. I have sold many trees over the years, so when it came to my store, I knew I needed to find a really special supplier. They had to be fresh, they needed to be local, but most important they had to pass my daughter's " Christmas stamp of approval". Who would know my beautiful baby daughter would grow to be a relentless keeper of traditions and standards. No ornament is allowed out of it's place, no recipe may be changed, and the tree, well you can imagine.
My quest found me heading over the Malahat toward Naniamo in search of Mike Gogo's tree farm. When asked when I would arrive, my reply of "around noon", was met with "You can't come at noon, it's when I eat lunch, I will see you at 12:30", a man after my own heart! We agreed wholeheartedly on that point, I suspected we would get along famously, and already had good feeling about the trees.
My partner and I found the farm, 8 mi off the beaten track, down one of those great Westcoast rural roads. Mike was right I didn't need the address, I recognised the property for what it was, a Christmas tree farm. Later I found out about 60,000 of them an impressive sight, especially if your a bit crazy about Christmas. As we rounded the bend we came to an amazing sign, this is a heritage farm, over 100 years old. The sign dedicating the property was created using an old photograph, of what I assumed to be Grandpa Gogo.
We found the office, a museum of photo's, trophy's, and memorabilia, the big man across the desk was in his element, there was no need to guess who was who in the office. Introductions were warm, and immediately launched into question, and stories. We got to know each other before getting too deeply into business. The men folk bonded, a couple of story tellers who found common ground easily, sports, politics, the outdoors, a fondness for letters to the editor....and talking! The whole trip was worth meeting a larger than life local character with roots.
We did get down to business, had a wonderful tour of the property, these were the trees, I was thrilled. It was 2 1/2 hrs well spent, one of those special experiences you stumble onto , worth every bit of the drive, and I had a deal!

I am proud to offer very reasonably priced Vancouver Island grown trees this year. They are grown with attention to detail and quality, by someone who has been doing it since he was 14 years old. Mike let me in on this fact, oh ...mid handshake. This was a family business, on family land, that was obvious the moment we arrived.

6-8' sheared Douglas firs $35.00