Day 3 of my “30 Days of MN Agriculture” is Doug and Lois Hoffbauer, or better known as ‘Farmer Doug.” Doug and Lois live near Duluth. (By the way, Duluth is absolutely one of my favorite places in Minnesota!) Doug is also a MARL (Minnesota Ag Rural Leadership) alumni. We visited his farm during one of our MARL meetings and I can tell you his farm is truly a family affair. Many of the family members are directly involved in caring for the farm. In the summer Farmer Doug sells produce and flowers at the local Duluth Farmers Market and in the late fall/early winter, he sells Christmas trees. Hope you enjoy his story!
Social Media Sites: Website: www.balsamwreath.com
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
We purchased the land for our Christmas tree farm in 1986 and immediately began planting trees for the purpose of Christmas trees. We began a cut-your-own in 1993, and in 1997-2001 son Derek went to Crookston for college and hockey and began selling trees in Grand Forks. We began wreath production at that time, following many years of small family production. In 2001 we began our first retail lot in Superior, Wisconsin. We opened a second site in 2004 at Duluth Farmer’s Market.
We currently market at both locations. We plant about 3500 seedlings annually and currently have about 40 acres in trees. In 1994 our son Derek, began a website www.balsamwreath.com and that has developed into a mail-order Christmas wreath business that employs 6 people from mid-October through mid-December. We also market wreaths at our two tree lots and have a few fundraiser accounts. Our second son, Jesse balls and burlaps about 200 trees annually for landscaping purposes.
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