June 18, 2014

Life Is: Peaceful

Life is peaceful here on my husband's grandparent's tree farm.
Walking around the tree farm and gazing at God's beauty is one of our most treasured and peaceful moments! Michael's grandparents purchased this land in 1978 because they realized how much money people were spending on Christmas trees, and thought "why not grow trees and sell them?" They had the soil tested by a local forester and it was ideal for many types of trees! It wasn't until 1981 that they planted evergreens, walnuts, blue spruce, white and red pine, and cedar seeds. 
Before the land was a tree farm, it was farm land full of tall grass, corn fields and a cow pasture. There was a lot of work that went into prepping the land to get it ready to be seeded.
The great thing about a tree farm is that there is an abundance of fire wood, and the potential to have your own home grown annual Christmas tree!
Michael's grandparents had hoped that one day their grandchildren would benefit from the tree's harvest profit. The farm still has yet to be harvested, but one day in the future the farm will look quite different.

The tree farm has much sentimental value to our family with some of us growing up on the land, many of the grandchildren spending their summers working on the farm, and a few of us (me!) just have memories of visiting the farm to enjoy the beauty it has to offer. 

Having never heard of a tree farm before meeting my husband, he would recall fond memories working the land. There were always fallen branches to collect and feed through the wood chipper, lower branches to trim to help promote straighter boards with fewer knots, sick trees to weed out, and other tasks. I remember specifically hearing about the volunteer trees (trees that the squirrels planted, no joke!) on my first visit to the farm. After realizing hubby wasn't trying to fool me, I thought it was so interesting (and made perfect sense) that squirrels had helped plant some of the trees on the farm!
Little hubby helping on the farm. Isn't he so cute?!

Did I mention that before purchasing the farm land, Grandpa and Grandma Nelson acquired lake front property? This property is where they built a homestead in 1950, and still live there today, almost 65 years later.

The crisp, fresh scent of pines in the fall is something only God could imagine. Ahhhh, cedar too.

Michael and I were lucky enough to get our first Christmas tree from the Nelson tree farm (in 2008!). We hauled it the entire 6 hours back from MN to our home in IL, inside our vehicle. You don't want to lose all the needles, right?
The tree farm is also beautiful in every season, even during a Minnesotan winter.
Our dog Niko also loves to visit the tree farm. You should have seen him on his first visit! He loved to run around the 10+ acres off leash, tromping through mud puddles, chasing squirrels, getting a drink from the lake, and chewing on sticks! Oh there were sticks galore!
(Isn't our first little boy, Niko, so pretty? He is a Finnish Spitz, and we've had him since he was 10 weeks old. We love him so! He's now almost 5 years old!)

This tree farm has been in my husband's family for decades, and I hope that one day our children will have fond memories of the farm too. Grandpa Kenny's biggest reward since starting the tree farm has been that his grandchildren acquired a bit of love for nature because of it, and I definitely think that was accomplished!
This is one of my favorite pictures of us on the homestead. It's perfect with the lake and sunset behind us. This was taken in the beginning of 2008 when we were newly engaged! :o)
Nature seems to always help settle me and bring me back to my center. 
Do you have a place that you like to visit that automatically calms you and is peaceful? 


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