By Cindy Jo Ayers
Over 26 million fresh Christmas trees are sold each year in America. This year Gilchrist County citizens can purchase a fresh Christmas tree grown in county.
Aimee’s Acres Christmas Trees opened for the first time on Friday, November 27. Aimee Fike, who moved to Trenton from Charlotte County in South Florida just 3 years ago, started the Christmas tree farm. She and Guy have worked tirelessly planting and caring for their Red Cedar and Sand Pine Christmas trees since that time. Not long after moving to the area, they met Joyce and Bob Neilson and learned about their Christmas tree farm. The Neilson family owned a local Christmas tree farm for 22 years in Gilchrist County before closing in 2018. Sadly, Joyce passed away not long afterward. Bob has been a mentor to the couple as they began their tree business. Aimee said, “Bob has helped us tremendously, giving us so much good advice.”
To learn more about owning a Christmas tree farm, Aimee joined the Florida Christmas Tree Association. The Association has been another good source of information for their very first agriculture endeavor.
They both work other jobs, but manage their 11 acres of trees after hours and on weekends. Future plans include expanding their business by selling northern Christmas trees as well as their local grown trees next holiday season.
The tree farm has a total of 660 trees and they hope to sell 140 this first year. Amiee’s Acres Christmas Tree farm is located at 7570 SE State Road 47, or across the road from Michael Wilkerson’s watermelon shed. Customers arriving at the farm can’t miss the pretty red Santa sleigh. The sleigh is perfect for taking family Christmas photos.
Those purchasing a tree from the farm can cut their own or Aimee’s crew will cut trees for the customers. Then the extra fresh tree will be wrapped in netting, so it is easy for the customers to handle.
On Friday, November 27, families were enjoying the grand opening activities which included a petting zoo of farm animals owned by Aimee, a ornament making station was set up for the children to enjoy and hot chocolate and coffee bars added to the Christmas theme of the event. Several customers were pleased to purchase Amiee’s Acres Goat Milk Soap. Amiee makes the soap herself using fresh goat milk from their herd of 20 goats.
Amiee’s children, Toni, Seth and Maddy Fike, were all on hand over the weekend to help their mother with the grand opening.
Aimee’s Acres Christmas Trees will be open Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. until they sell out of trees. For more information call 941-276-1408.
Aimee’s Acres Christmas Trees holds grand opening
By Cindy Jo Ayers