“Growing Great Memories” is the theme for Christmas at Big Sky Farm.
It is the perfect place for a Christmas family outing. It will certainly become one of the best Christmas memories ever for families that visit the farm. The farm is open from Nov. 18 through Dec. 10 this year.
The 40-acre farm, owned by Justin and Lyn Diel, has rows and rows of beautiful Christmas trees waiting for families to choose just the right tree. The Diel family began growing and selling Christmas trees on 10 acres in Hendersonville about 20 years ago. They realized that they were outgrowing the 10 acres and started looking for a place to expand. They wanted to stay in Sumner County; and when the property became available in Portland, they purchased it and moved their Christmas tree farm to Portland.
The families can choose from three types of trees. One is the Choose and Cut Trees, where families are given a saw to cut down their tree. The second is the Fresh Cut Fir Trees, which come from East Tennessee and North Carolina because that variety does not grow in Middle Tennessee. The third type of trees is the Living Trees, which are in containers and can be planted after the holidays. There are several varieties in each category. Workers are available to help net the trees and tie them down on family vehicles. The Diels have a pool of 30 to 40 workers that help with the farm. They pull about 20 workers from the pool to help each day the farm is open.
After choosing a tree, there are many activities for families at the farm. They can rent a fire pit and purchase s’more kits for the children to prepare. Hot chocolate will be available. Snack food items, such as candy cane cocoa, frosted pecans, soft pretzels, candy, and water, are for sale at the Christmas Cafe. Santa will visit Big Sky Farm on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 4 p.m. till 6 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 3 from noon till 5 p.m.
According to Justin Diel, the second most popular thing at the farm is the Wreath and Greenery Shop. Visitors can select wreaths, greenery, garland, and table decorations at the shop. Customers can choose from a variety of ribbon and embellishments. The wreaths are various sizes.
This year the farm will have a live Nativity Scene on Nov. 18, 25 and Dec. 2.
Field trips are available for school and church groups. The field trips are designed as an educational experience with children learning about growing Christmas trees. They can participate in the various activities at the farm.
Big Sky Farm is a family business. Their daughter, Savannah Hayes, is manager of the Farm Store and does the marketing and social media. Her husband, Michael, leads the tree workers and serves as crew chief. Daughter Mikaela Wilson and her husband, Nolan, help with the tree farm. The Diels’ son, Dakota, lives in Los Angeles and shoots the videos of the farm.
The Diels began the business as a hobby and to provide extra money for college for their children. Now that Justin has retired from Lifeway, where he was in media production, the farm has become a part of his retirement income, and it is clear he enjoys every minute of Big Sky Farm. They have many repeat customers each year. They have been helping families select Christmas trees long enough that now they are helping the children in those families select trees for their children. Justin greets all visitors with a big smile letting them know he is glad to see them visit the farm and make some memories.
According to their website, their goal is to provide high quality trees and an awesome experience when visiting the farm. Their website states that when you choose a real tree, you support real farmers like them in your local community and help give the economy an extra boost during the holidays. More information about Big Sky Farm is available on the web at BigSkyFarmTN.com, Facebook, and Instagram.