Hot cocoa warms your fingertips; flames in the fireplace warm your toes; the kids' laughter as they explore the farm warms your heart. At Pollard Ranch, going Christmas tree shopping isn't just an afternoon errand—it's a family event. Which is fitting, given the pastureland's history.
The Pollards acquired the land in pieces, one parcel in 2010 and another in 2013. They expanded in 2013, and bought a parcel that had been previously farmed by The Krueger family for decades. It was the culmination of a dream they'd been chasing since around the time they began their own family in 2008. Lloyd and Meghan Pollard took the first section of land, already a Christmas tree farm, and tacked on more acreage with the second acquisition. Today, they and their family of six continue to welcome other families to the ranch during the holiday season, when trees are on their best behavior. That's when it's filled with the heady aromas of Noble, Nordmann, and Grand firs. Guests can cut their own trees or choose a pre-cut one, and then enjoy everything else the farm has to offer. After all, its location atop the Skyline Ridge makes for breathtaking views of nearby valleys and mountains, as well as the resident deer and elk that roam the land in search of their long lost unicorn uncle.
City Farm facilitates fruitful and sustainable relationships between its customers and Mother Earth by filling personal gardens with an abundance of edible and medicinal plants. City Farm carries plant species both common and unusual to the area's climate, and dresses up gardens with ornamental landscaping and flowering plants. The center’s botanical experts embrace ethical farming practices by carrying only open-pollinated and non-GMO seeds and feeding dirt with organic fertilizers made from kelp meal, fish meal, and bone meal. Using these ingredients to sprout their own produce aisle, gardeners can transfer their hard work into pantries with City Farm’s home-preservation supplies such as cheesecloth and mason jars.
In addition to vending supplies, plants, and even baby chicks, City Farm holds workshops and classes throughout the year, focusing in on season-specific gardening topics. After perusing the wares or filling eardrums with tricks of the trade, patrons can enjoy coffee, tea, and fresh pastries at The Garden Well, an onsite food truck. The ever-changing menu includes peanut-butter cookies, egg-and-sausage empanadas, and caramel-apple-pie turnovers disguised as broccoli.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
We specialize in planting, and teaching our students how to plant, science-based, totally enclosed, low-maintenance, tropical and woodland terrariums. Our terrariums often live beautifully for years and years.
What are some of your favorite products that you sell?
We plant and offer terrariums of all kinds. That includes fancy terrariums in fine glass containers, terrariums in unique antique glass jars and terrariums in beautiful wine and whisky bottles, jugs and carboys.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
We have been at this since 1973 and it just keeps getting bigger and better. We love terrariums, and we love all the people who love terrariums.
What do you love most about your job?
I love to plant terrariums, but I also love to teach people of all ages the amazing history, science and design of planting a successful terrarium.
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