Bear Swamp Farm is located
on property that has been owned by the Hosford family since the 1940s.
William and Marjorie Hosford (the first generation of owners) fell in love with this area of northern New jersey while hiking and fishing on weekends with their family. They purchased the land over a period of ten years in the 1940's. They then built their retirement home on the property. They designed it to be large enough for their large family to reunite there at least once a year.
By the early 1960's the property was fully owned by the second generation members.
In the mid 1960's their son, Jim Hosford (and his children) began planting Christmas Trees on a portion of the property that had been his mother's garden. He also became a director for the newly formed New Jersey Forestry Association. His goal was to turn the property into a well managed Tree Farm. The products of the farm were to be timber, firewood, and Christmas Trees.
The ultimate goal was to keep the property in the family, and as close to it's natural unspoiled state as possible, for as long as possible. That was over fifty years ago.
The Christmas Tree Farm is now being managed by Jim's daughter Allison, with a lot of help from her husband Roger, her siblings and their children, and her first cousins and their children (the third and fourth generations).
The Christmas Tree plantation covers ten acres. Every spring (mid April) we plant between 600 and 1,000 seedlings. We hire people to mow the fields and clear the brush throughout the summer. We hand shape the trees every June and July with a combination of paid and volunteer workers. Our family members and volunteer friends sell our trees every December.
We have a timber sale about once a decade, and harvest firewood for our own personal use every winter.
William and Marjorie would be very proud of their hard working and dedicated offspring.