RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) — For over 30 years, the proverbial star atop many central Kentuckians’ Christmas trees has been a stop at Baldwin Farms in Richmond.
Families came back year after year for hot chocolate, a photo, and of course, to cut down a Christmas tree.
But this year, those families will have to miss out on that tradition because the farm won’t be opening to sell Christmas trees.
“We have families that have been coming here for 20 some years some of em 30 years,” says Margery Baldwin, owner of Baldwin Farms.
Baldwin and her late husband bought the 154 acre farm in 1977.
“We always we wanted to start a Christmas tree farm here,” says Baldwin.
So they planted trees that same year and 8 years later, they sold their first Christmas tree.
“Part of the mission I have here is providing families this place to make a wonderful Christmas tradition,” says Baldwin.
A Christmas tradition Baldwin says, sadly, can’t happen this year, the first time in 34 years, and all because of a grinch that came early.
“The drought and the heat has really taken a toll on our trees,” says Baldwin.
The farm’s lost over 50% of its 1,500 new trees planted this year.
“If I had been aware I would’ve done a little more irrigating,” says Baldwin.
She says that’s roughly $2,000, lost.
“But not only do you lose the money you have sunk into those trees but you lose the income from eight to ten years down the road,” says Baldwin.
So the decision to close this season is one Baldwin doesn’t make lightly.
She announced the closing in a Facebook post Sunday.
“People are writing me back ‘Oh my girls have come here for more than 20 years and it just won’t be like Christmas without coming to Baldwin farms’ and that’s nice to hear but it makes me kinda sad,” says Baldwin.
So she’s trying to respond with a little holiday positivity.
“Enjoy your Christmas even without a Baldwin tree it’s still Christmas. But we’d love to have you again and maybe we can try next year,” says Baldwin.
Baldwin says that’s the hope but she can’t predict the weather.