Wall Township – The Christmas season may have come and gone, but we have another reason to celebrate Christmas – trees specifically – this spring.
The Conover homestead, circa 1843, encompassed most of Wall Township’s Hurley Pond Road at one time. As the Conover Family expanded, smaller farm parcels were given to children to begin their own families. When John Conover Sr. began farming his 14-acre farmstead, the neighborhood was still predominately farmland. Over the years, the area around the Farm continued to develop and his Farm became an oasis, a hidden treasure nestled amongst a sea of development.
Almost 50 years ago, John Sr. made the decision to begin growing Christmas Trees. Today the Farm is home to over 3,000 beautiful Trees which require regular, hand tailored shearing. Each Christmas season, new and long withstanding family traditions bring families to the Farm to select and cut their perfect Christmas Tree.
In the early 90’s John Conover Jr. took over the business from his father and continues to run the business on the Farm that he grew up on. Having called this area home since the 1840’s, the family fondly recalls many stories that have been passed down through the generations. Local mobsters escapades, tall tales of prohibition, the Hindenburg casting its shadow over the Farm on route to Lakehurst that historic day and Calvary ammunition dating back to the Revolutionary War found in the Farm’s soil are just a few of the family tales that connect to the historical context of the area. The land with its fertile soil and rich history, cannot authenticate these stories, but the family’s decisions to preserve the Farm will ensure that the land will remain in perpetuity as a haven to the stories of the past, present and future.
The Foundation led the efforts to preserve Conover’s Christmas Tree Farm, working collaboratively with the State Agriculture Development Committee, Township of Wall and the Monmouth County Agriculture Development Board, all of whom contributed to the $242,630 cost to purchase the development rights to the 14 acre Farm.
In 2014, preservation partners preserved the 35-acre Conover Farm adjacent to the Christmas Tree Farm, once also part of the larger Conover homestead. With few remaining farms in Wall Township, the preservation of these 49-acres in total ensures the land will forever be available for farming and preserves the Township’s farming heritage. Each additional acre of preserved farmland further protects the quality of life in Monmouth County and sustains the environmental integrity of the area.
For more information on the Christmas Tree Farm located at 3105 Hurley Pond Road in Wall Township, visit their website at www.conoversfarm.com. Be sure to mark your calendars for the first Saturday in November to reserve your tree. Trees can be cut and purchased beginning on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Monmouth Conservation Foundation, founded in 1977 by Michael Huber and Judith Stanley-Coleman as a 501(c)(3), is an accredited land trust dedicated to preserving open space and farmland in Monmouth County. For the past 39 years the organization has been steadfast in saving land, creating parks, preserving ecosystems, and protecting the wildlife for your enjoyment and that of future generations.