(2009 Updated post including another letter from John Wycoff can be found here)
The other day I made one of my favorite posts type - Old School Facelifts. They are one of my favorites because it usually involves some of my recent experiences in NJ coupled with a new way of advertising for them. I also always get a lot of positive feedback and often hear from one of the folks that runs the company I profile. Last week's post chronicled our recent annual tree cutting experience out in Belvidere, NJ with stops at Wyckoff's Tree Farm, Mackey's Orchard with Papa Goes Nuts outside, and of course Hot Dog Johnny's. One of the other reasons for these posts is to help out these folks with some good search results and I'm happy to report it actually worked for Papa's Gone Nuts. Up until that post Papa had no search results and today as you can see there are 7 results with mine up at the top. Ok, so search works, but what does that have to do with today's post?
Well a few days after that post I received a comment in my best post link (some reason doesn't seem to be working) from John C. Wyckoff who also left a post over at Marketing Prof's. The comment reprinted below almost brought a tear to my eye, but I'm way too manly for that :-). Here's the comment which I thought you'd enjoy:
Your posting from December 4, 2006 regarding our farm, Wyckoff's Christmas Tree Farm, was just brought to my attention today. First and foremost I would like to say "Thank You" to you and your wife Mary for being such faithful customers of our Family Operated Christmas Tree farm. Families, such as your own, help keep the small family farmer in operation.
Regretfully, you are correct, my father was diagnosed in 1995 with Lymphoma. Yes, he is doing fine. Now, the "Big Picture"... during the treatment process for the Lymphoma, trees were not planted as the direction of the farm was in question. Annual planting once again resumed in 1999, the trees looked great, until...drought struck during the summer months. The entire planting was lost. Now, you get the picture as it takes eight to ten years to grow a harvestable Christmas Tree.
I am glad to say however, we have planted every spring since and are on our way back to having, as you put it, "Mountains of Trees to Choose From". We currently have 35,000 trees in production and are planting more come spring. We have been rationing the "cut your own" trees and supplementing with quality, fresh cut trees. We are working hard to maintain the experience for our dedicated customers such as yourself. Eric, if you or any of your readers are ever in the area, or perhaps before this Christmas, please look me up. I would like to give you a tour of the farm and show the "Mountains of Trees" that once again are growing in our fields.
Wow, that comment was awesome which was why I wanted you to read it. Yes we went back this year and yes you can cut down some great trees and I was told next year we can go on top of their hill to get some trees from there too. Going up their hill was always a special thrill for Mary and I; the kids never made it. Anyway, here's a picture (I was too lazy to scan it) from our first visit there in 1990 with the mountains of trees.
We pass several tree farms on our way up to Wyckoff's and I'm sure they are all fine; we even have a few in Long Valley, but when a place delivers year after year for you and has brought such good memories, why not keep going there? Wyckoff's delivers a great tree cutting experience and when you couple it with the rest that the area has to offer, cutting down trees at Wyckoff's is a great family tradition.