Perfect Pickings

You’ll Be Sure to Find the Right Christmas Tree at Flickinger Farms

Writer / Amy Lant-Wenger
Photography Provided

The landscapes of the Midwestern heartland are plainly yet intricately designed, with ribbons of farmland connecting closely intertwined rural communities. The image represents the ideals of Americana, and the perseverance and determination of those who were raised with the principles of hard work.

Andy Flickinger understands this well. His family name resonates throughout the chronicles of Wakarusa history, spanning several generations and stretching back for nearly 130 years. He is finding success by drawing on his heritage to create a new kind of enterprise, one that has brought a special kind of holiday cheer to area families.  

Flickinger Farms is a thriving Christmas tree farm situated on land approximately one mile west of downtown Wakarusa that has been lovingly tended by the Flickingers since 1894. Scores of ancestors became pillars of the community and respected denizens of regional agriculture. Flickinger was raised with the routines of planting, fertilizing and weeding. Nearly 10 years ago he was inspired by the idea of combining his small-business acumen with the ideals he was raised on. He planted his first batch of trees on a one-acre expanse of ground, and nine acres and five years later, a lush crop of holiday trees had come to fruition.

“When I was in college, I was trying to think of something that I could do in small business, and it put a few ideas into my head on what I could do with our family’s land,” Flickinger explains. “I thought of doing some type of specialty crop, like my grandpa had done. He used to sell pumpkins there.”

His epiphany to accomplish what his predecessors had done so well came while he was living and studying in the south. It is also where he met his wife, Amanda, who now works alongside him at Flickinger Farms and is one of the many professional photographers who has used the festive backdrop of the site for scores of holiday-themed images. Under the care of husband and wife, Flickinger Farms is poised to have its busiest season yet, as their three children take in the atmosphere as well. The youngsters are part of a veritable family reunion of sorts, and the family members all take on various farm responsibilities. Flickinger’s parents, brother, uncles, aunts and cousins can all be counted on to pitch in during the sales season.

Among the choose-and-cut trees that can be purchased at Flickinger Farms are fragrant varieties of Scotch pine, white pine, Douglas fir and Canaan fir. The inventory spans a range of heights and prices, from $30 to $95. Opening weekend for the 2023 season will launch immediately following Thanksgiving, Fridays through Sundays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The schedule will continue as such until the stock is sold out. Flickinger Farms also carries a selection of holiday accessories to complement the trees, from wreaths to tree stands and other home decor items. Complimentary hot chocolate is available to take away the chill, and free hayrides can give visitors a picturesque and panoramic glimpse of rural Elkhart County.

Families and photographers are encouraged to visit Flickinger Farms at 30210 County Road 40 in Wakarusa to learn more. The website can be found at flickingerfarms.com, and you can visit them on Facebook and Instagram as well.

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