With the holidays right around the corner, what better guest to have on our Territory Tales podcast than a Christmas tree farmer? None that we could think of! So, for our 17th episode we welcomed William Keyser, owner of Merrywood Farm in Oregon City, to talk about his u-cut and pre-cut tree farm and the serendipitous events that led to his multigenerational family business.
As a kid, William loved being outside on his parents farm and specifically enjoyed planting seeds and (eventually) seeing them grow. Who knew a childhood delight would eventually lead to a full time gig? After marrying his wife, Susan, and having two daughters who developed their own love of horses, William knew they needed a property large enough to accommodate both passions. They sold their house in hopes of buying the property of a woman named Marry Wood who William had worked for before her passing. It sold to someone else, which put them in quite a bind, but luckily right before Christmas (I know, right!), they found a farm for sale next to the home of William's grandmother and purchased it at auction. Little did they know, their newly purchased farmhouse and barn was once the place where William's grandmother was born. Unfortunately, it had been sold to other owners after William's great grandfather died. Everyone was thrilled to have this special place back in the family and worked to restore the buildings that his great-grandfather had originally built, using photos his grandmother still had for reference. When it came time to open for business and name the farm, William chose Merrywood, paying homage to the woman's property they DIDN'T buy, making way for the land they were destined to call home.
In present day, William and his wife Susan who he lovingly refers to as Mrs. Christmas, decorate the farm in grand splendor with a new diorama in the barn each year, a craft station hosted by their grand-kids, vintage farm equipment showcased in their barn museum and, of course, all the trees you could possibly want to take home for your family room display.