Seeking Farm Apprentice

sunflower-harvestFodor Tree Farm is looking for an energetic and detail-oriented farm apprentice to work at our fast-paced and diverse farm this cut-flower season (May – October). This is a paid position.

Fodor Tree Farm is a cut flower farm and Christmas tree farm in Poland, Ohio. During our flower season, we grow and sell cut flowers to florists, grocery stores, farm markets, subscription services, etc. We also have a full service floral design studio used for events (weddings). We have a high tunnel and about 2-3 acres of field flower production.

The ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:

  • Self motivated, energetic, and positive attitude
  • Efficiently completes assigned tasks (time sensitive tasks and the tedious ones too)
  • Dependable, organized and punctual (be on time with necessary gear)
  • Tolerant to work in varying conditions outdoors (heat, rain, etc.)
  • Ability to lift heavy objects
  • Flexibility and willingness to multitask and perform varying job duties (hand weeding to being the face of our business)
  • Friendly and sociable with staff and customers

The farm apprentice will learn about and participate in the following: sowing seeds, soil fertility and bed preparation, irrigation, composting, transplanting plugs and seedlings, harvesting and processing cut flowers, operating farm equipment including tractor, tiller and mower, managing weeds, planting bulbs and corms, cleaning tools, buckets, etc., selling at local farmers markets and other direct customer relations, pest and disease management, hoophouse management, basics of floral design, general farm maintenance.

The ideal candidate must be flexible to work weekdays/weekends with varying hours and have previous farming or gardening experience or genuinely enjoy working outdoors and with people.

Please email resume to t.fodor@fodortreefarm.com

One Season to Another

golden-wreathFlower season is winding down here on the farm.  It was sad to see the last row of sunflowers fade, but also excited about transitioning into greens, glitter, and bows. Thanks to all of our market supporters, local florists, and all that helped guide and support us through our second season of fresh cut flowers.

Before moving on to tree season updates, I wanted to share some exciting news on the flower side of our business. We recently joined the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers (ASCF) and are thrilled about the opportunity to learn, network, and expand on our cut-flower business in 2014. We attended our first conference in Wooster last week and were overwhelmed with the knowledge shared and generosity of our fellow flower farmers. We left feeling so inspired within two days we purchased our first hoophouse! Yippeee!! We will be taking a great leap of faith next season by expanding into many other flower varieties, (which I’m still nervously-excited about…eeek) and will rely heavily on the gracious guidance of those knowledgeable farmers.

Speaking of associations, Fodor Tree Farm volunteered to host the October North East Ohio Christmas Tree Growers Association (NEOCTG) meeting. We had about 45 Christmas tree farmers come together at our farm to eat network, learn, and discuss all aspects of being a Christmas tree farm.  We told our story of how we came to be and what works and doesn’t work for us at our boutique-like farm. A huge plus for us hosting this meeting was that it gave us a head start on preparing for the holiday season as we worked diligently to make sure the farm was in tip-top shape for our guests. So… bring on greens, bows, saws, and flannels…the season is only a month away! Opening day at the farm is the Friday after Thanksgiving, but the wreath shop will be open for custom orders the entire week of Thanksgiving!

Summer Blooms at the Farm

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I guess we fell off the blogger map for a while. Well, we’re back and have been as busy as ever on the farm and having a blast. First off, we recently launched our new Fodor Tree Farm website with a fresh, new look. We are very pleased with how it turned out and are excited to share it with all of you.  Secondly, it’s sunflower season here at Fodor Tree Farm…yeeaaaahhh! We started harvesting and will continue for the next two months almost daily. We are currently selling our sunflower bunches at Molnar Farms (in their amazing new barn) and at the Poland Farmer’s Market in addition to here at the farm. We will keep you updated on additional markets and locations.  These sunflowers are super fresh, local, and absolutely stunning! I don’t think I have a room in my house that doesn’t have a fresh flower. It’s so cheery. Come see us at the market or call us for a special order.

 

Tent…check, Signs…check.

park-hereIf only that was the end of the to-do list before our big opening day this Friday!  Though we will be busy little elves the next few days preparing for our opening
weekend, we are looking forward to our Thanksgiving feast with our families and then the notorious Black Friday Christmas Tree Shoppers!  Yeeeeahhhhh!!

So what’s new from Fodor Tree Farm in 2012?  Well, you all know by now Jon is a typical man. He loves his toys and when it comes to Christmas trees, he likes all the gadgets and custom equipment. He purchased a tree shaker from a retiring tree farmer and is bringing it back to life. It’s looking pretty snazzy with that fresh coat of Christmas red paint!  It’s sure to give each tree a big shake to help get rid of any loose needles before netting it up. Along with the “shaker” he also purchased a tree drill. Though it’s in rough shape (in my eyes) it gets the job done for those of you who prefer rebar tree stands. Besides the choose-and-cut fields of Christmas trees, we will also have the pre-cut area under the tent, and because of several requests last year we will offer balled and burlap trees.

Now for the fun stuff…wreaths and greenery items! Just kidding, I love the tree stuff just as much. As I mentioned in the previous post, our red barn has been transformed to our greenery showroom and let me tell you it looks and smells amazing!  You just have to come by and see it for yourself!  I have Fraser Fir and Concolor Fir wreaths this year in a few different sizes. We also have cemetery crosses that are just gorgeous and much, much more!

Be sure to stop by Fodor Tree Farm and get your fresh tree this year. Nothing says Christmas more, than the fragrance of a fresh-cut Christmas tree!

See you soon!

It’s that time…Game on!

Can you believe it?  We are only 12 days away from Thanksgiving and 13 days until opening day at Fodor Tree Farm. The next two week I’ll be covered in tree sap, hot glue, and glitter as I prepare fresh wreath designs and other greenery products. It’s that time…game on!

Jon and I had this clever idea of turning our red garage into a Christmas workshop. With more than 30 years of farm…stuff(not sure of a better word for all the stuff we pulled out of it), we somehow managed to clear the space. We never realized the potential of this old red garage until now, especially for the Christmas tree season. I’m loving my new workshop, which over the next two weeks will be transformed into a showcase of fragrant, fresh holiday decor! There’s no need to just imagine the fresh scents and jaw dropping beauty that is about to come out of this new workshop…just come by and let your holiday senses come alive! :-)

I’ll be looking forward to greeting our first customers on Black Friday….or maybe even earlier in the week?!?  I’ll be building, decorating, and taking orders from this day forward.

Hope to see you soon!

Sunflower Success

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Last week at the Poland Farmer’s Market we met so many new friends! Though it was an extremely hot day, the flowers still put on quite the display. We left the market with only a few remaining bundles and they quickly disappeared within a day. Thanks to everyone who was able to stop by and see us. What a fun day! If you haven’t been to the market yet, please stop by. They have a great selection of local produce, canned goods and more. One of our favorites is Red Geraniums! They make homemade canned pie fillings and can be used for just about anything. In fact, they gave us one of their leftover sample containers and told me to whip something good up. Well, no need…Jon and I just ate it with a spoon as soon as we got home! Yummy!!

Throughout the week, we filled sunflower orders for local florists and a few curious customers that heard about us one way or another. We even had to pick one evening in the rain to fill an order for the following morning. I told Jon one streak of lightening and I was out of there! :-) And doesn’t it figure, as soon as we were done and in the garage prepping our cut flowers, the rain stopped.

Most likely it will be our last week or so of sunflowers, so come see us at the Poland Farmer’s Market tomorrow from 10am-2pm again. Hope to see you soon!

Christmas Trees to Sunflowers

Who would have thought…Christmas trees to sunflowers?  Well, we knew it was pretty cool to be Christmas tree farmers but we also thought it would be very cool to grow other items in our off season. There were two inspirations for why we chose sunflowers to experiment with. First, Tara stumbled across an article about a Pennsylvania farmer who, by mistake, turned his cover crop into a cash crop. His business is booming now with fresh-cut sunflowers being distributed to floral wholesalers. Secondly, Tara has planted sunflowers around the garden the past few years and absolutely fell in love with these stunning beauties. So, this year we planted two sections in our back field of a single stem, pollenless sunflower specifically for fresh-cut flowers.

We were a bit worried early in the season as there was little rain and plenty of hot days. But, these beauties thrived and are now full of color (and many of bees too) and ready for harvest.

On a whim, we stopped into our local Giant Eagle’s floral department and explained our successful experiment with the sunflowers. After a brief discussion, they agreed to purchase a few dozen to sell to their customers. So, as of yesterday Poland Giant Eagle is selling Fodor Tree Farm’s sunflowers! How exciting huh?!?!!

We will also be at the Poland Farmers Market this Saturday, August 4 from 10am – 2pm with our stunning bundles of sunflowers for sale. What better way to brighten your kitchen, office, or friend’s face than with fresh-cut flowers! If you are in the area, stop by the market (located behind the Poland library) and see us!

6-Month Recap

Hard to believe 6 months has gone by and even harder to believe it’s time to start thinking about Christmas tree season again. Though we never really forget about the trees as there is much needed maintenance that takes place with every season. In the past six months, we’ve grinded last year’s stumps, planted tree seedlings, mowed, fertilized, initiated a herbicide program, scouted for pests, trimmed, and did more mowing. It sounds like a lot of hard work and it is, but we truly enjoy it (well, most of the time ;-).

With each Christmas season, we are striving to provide more services and better products to make finding your Christmas tree more enjoyable. Last year it was our added tree netter/bailer, a selection of pre-cut trees, and our wreaths and fresh greenery items. This year we have a few more services and products we will offer, so don’t miss out and be sure to stop by and check out what’s new!

See you in a few months!

Sell-Out Season

I know, I know…it’s January and I’m finally making another post. That should indicate what kind of season we had at the tree farm….BUSY!  Since we missed a post for Christmas and New Years, Fodor Tree Farm hopes you all had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, love, and laughter and many wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

It was so much fun this year with all the new surprises and new faces at the tree farm.  We had our best Christmas Tree season yet and are already planning for 2012. Though we slacked a bit on the posts, I did not slack on the photos. We captured a few great moments on the tree farm and look forward to building that Christmas Tree Farm album one of these days. It’s on my list for sure!!

Something else worth mentioning…

We were quite excited on December 23rd when the phone rang and it was Jon’s mother telling us to go to vindy.com to see the day’s paper.  “Supersized in Springfield” was the headline and inside we read about one of our longstanding customers, Frank and Paula Dietz and their 18’ Concolor fir they purchased at Fodor Tree Farm!  We love a good story and we love to hear how our customers find a way to get their supersized tree selections into the house! Seeing one of our trees in the local paper and hearing their story made us smile!!

Thanks again for a wonderful season! Look forward to seeing you all next year.