GRANVILLE, Ohio — After a fire damaged two greenhouses at Timbuck Farms in Licking County earlier this year, the owner, Jim Gibson, is ready to welcome crowds back to the farm.
"Back on March 15 I got a phone call that the building was on fire, it definitely was tragic and upsetting, but luckily no one got hurt,” Gibson shared. "It was unfortunate, but we quickly picked up the pieces and moved forward.”
Gibson said they have more trees than ever before after the fire claimed nearly 10% of his production. This holiday season, the Granville farm is set to open the day after Thanksgiving.
Gibson purchased the farm with his wife back in 2004 from the Schmidt family who had been harvesting trees there since the 1950s. Now, it’s a full-blown operation with 60+ employees.
“It's our life, we are farmers at heart,” said Gibson. “We have a good amount of employees, so it is one big family."
The farm holds about 200 acres of Christmas trees, and each holiday season, they sell about 10-15 thousand trees, in addition to their year-round retail in stores all throughout Ohio.
“We love the farm. It's beautiful, especially this time of year... with the Christmas tree and the leaves turning," said Gibson.
Holiday visitors will see a new retail garden center being constructed west of the Lodge as part of the rebuilding and restructuring efforts. It is slated to open in spring 2023.
"We're adding a lot of events for the farm so we're definitely excited about that and the number one thing, we've got lots of trees to choose from."
This year, visitors will see the return of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who were unavailable for visits the past two years due to COVID.
The farm also will have its "Photo Fun Park," where families can take pictures with a red 1947 International truck, train, vintage car, and Model T Ford. The Lodge will offer North Pole Café concessions and a roaring fire in the fireplace for visitors to warm themselves.
Buses will be running to take customers to and from the fields.
"It truly is a day on the farm. We try to keep it very traditional and we try to create memories forever,” said Gibson.
The Christmas tree farm opens on Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends through Dec. 18.