Luke Wojcik fondly recalls his days as a youngster on his family’s Christmas tree farm.
“I remember having a lot of fun playing in the woods and on the big sand hill when the farm was just getting started,” he said. “A lot of open space to run around.”
“Then when I got a little older, I’d help mow the lawn in between all the trees that were getting bigger. I guess that was one of the first jobs I did on the farm. And I got more involved as I got older with pruning, fertilizing, planting.”
These days, Wojcik, 32, still enjoys his time in the countryside — albeit now as co-owner of Wojcik’s Christmas Tree Farm, just east of Pulaski in the Brown County town of Pittsfield.
His father, David Wojcik, a retired mechanical engineer, and grandfather, Richard Wojcik, a retired teacher, started the farm 30 years ago. Luke and David handle most of the farm duties these days, but Richard still helps out as needed.
“It’s special that it’s a family business like this,” Luke said. “It’s nice to keep the family name going with the farm. It’s always been kind of a family affair, but we get a lot of help from other friends and family too. It’s a group effort.”
Wojcik’s Christmas Tree Farm opens each year on the day after Thanksgiving and stays open until Christmas — or as soon as the trees are sold out. The 20-acre farm is home to about 8,000 balsam fir, Fraser fir and spruce trees — of which roughly 700 are ready for pre-cut or cut-your-own harvesting this season.
“We’re going to be really busy now all the way through Christmas,” Luke said. “It’s pretty fun seeing so many families come back year after year and having us be part of their Christmas tradition.
“We’ve had marriage proposals out here. We’ve had people come out to take family pictures here for Christmas cards. It’s fun to watch everyone get enjoyment and create those memories they’ll never forget.”
Luke said the Wojcik family established roots in the area in the late 1800s when his great-great-grandfather, Frank Wojcik, arrived from Poland. He cleared the wooded property and converted the land into a dairy operation for many years. Frank’s son, Mike, continued that dairy tradition.
Mike’s son, Richard (who is Luke’s grandfather), pursued a teaching career.
“My grandpa was a biology teacher, and they’d be doing projects at school in the greenhouses and he’d get these little spruce transplants,” Luke said. “He’d put the extras out here on the property, not really knowing he’d make it into a tree farm. Well, the idea for the tree farm came up one time and they thought maybe they’d plant more and see what happens.”
One thing led to another, and in 1989 Richard and David officially began the tree farm — although the first harvest still was a few years away yet.
“A tree farm doesn’t just pop up overnight,” Luke said. “The trees planted are about 3 or 4 years old. But then it’s another 7 or 8 years before you’re able to sell trees. It’s a slow, progressive thing, so they started planting a little bit more each year.”
Since the property is nearly maxed out with trees now, Luke is expanding his vision to value-added products that appeal to customers — like wreaths, planters and boughs.
But Luke said the foundation of the tree farm and his family’s passion for country living won’t change from the roots on which they began.
“I enjoy being on the farm, and so does my wife (Melissa) and our boys (Henry, 6, and Griffin, 3),” said Luke, who also owns an organic produce business, Twin Elm Gardens, on the property.
“The boys really love being out here. It’s a pretty cool place. It’s great that the kids can run around on a lot of land with the dog and play hide-and-seek and do whatever they want. The open space is great.”
Wojcik’s Christmas Tree Farm, at 4356 Twin Elm Drive, is open daily from 9 a.m. until about 4 p.m. during the harvesting season. The farm also sells pre-cut trees at Vern’s Hardware in Pulaski and Kimps ACE Hardware in Howard during those stores’ business hours.
For more information, visit www.wojcikchristmastreefarm.com or call 920-619-6921.