Michael Duncan pulls a tree through netting Friday at Neely Farms Choose and Cut Christmas Trees in Thorsby. Duncan and his wife Ginger own and operate the farm.
Michael Duncan pulls a tree through netting Friday at Neely Farms Choose and Cut Christmas Trees in Thorsby. Duncan and his wife Ginger own and operate the farm.

Archived Story

Local Christmas tree farm open for 2013 season

Published 7:29pm Friday, December 6, 2013

Residents in search of a place in Chilton County where they can choose, cut and purchase live Christmas trees could visit Neely Farms in Thorsby.

Home of a “Choose and Cut Christmas Trees” business, Neely Farms is in its seventh season of growing and selling trees from 5 acres of land located at 275 Dakota Road in Thorsby.

Owners Ginger and Michael Duncan opened the Christmas tree farm in 2007 on a 40-acre spread of land Ginger’s father owns near his home.

Before the tree farm came to fruition, Ginger said she grew up helping her father, Chesley Neely, raise feeder pigs and cows.

“I came up with the idea to do Christmas trees,” Ginger said. “It was totally new to us.”

Ginger said her idea stemmed from childhood memories of going with her family to pick out a Christmas tree from a farm every year.

After noticing how few farms were still operating in Chilton and surrounding counties, Ginger and her family decided to keep theirs alive and other families’ traditions of getting fresh-cut Christmas trees by opening Neely Farms Choose and Cut Christmas Trees.

“My children were young,” Ginger said. “I wanted to do something I could do with them. I just wanted to have a place for families to come.”

Ginger also had to convince Michael that her idea was feasible.

“I got my husband into it,” she said. “He didn’t know at the time how deep he was going to get into it.”

Neely Farms opened the day after Thanksgiving and is open each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, normally until a few days before Christmas Day.

But despite the farms’ short selling season, Ginger said planting, raising and maintaining multiple patches of thousands of trees requires months of work for her entire family.

She and Michael do most of the labor during the year. Their sons, Ethan Duncan and Chad Mizzell, help too.

“Our whole family has to work at it,” Ginger said. “I couldn’t do it without them.”

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