This is a great story! Twenty three years ago, Joni’s stepfather and mother were in the Cashiers area developing parcels of land. Meanwhile, back in Orlando, Florida, John was an artist sculpturing killer whales for Sea World and doing other theme park work. Joni wore a scuba suit to work every day and worked underwater with all kinds of sea animals at the Living Seas Pavilion in the EPCOT center. While Granny & Pops were in Cashiers, they found a beautiful Christmas Tree Farm and asked all of their combined children if anyone wanted to become farmers. John & Joni had recently had Tyler and Lynsi (Thus the Ty-Lyn name!) and thought this would be an idyllic place to raise the family. So, they loaded up their truck and moved to the mountains.
John, being a perfectionist in all that he did in life, gladly took on learning the art of being a farmer. He turned the run down farm into a showplace of a farm. We needed to get some cash flowing and ended up opening a temporary Christmas tree lot in the Atlanta area. John moved into a small trailer for 6 weeks and Joni, Tyler and Lynsi stayed on the farm. We needed a Christmas tree and so one day approaching Christmas, Joni, Tyler and Lynsi thought they would go out to the fields and cut down their very own tree from their very own farm! Well, the farm had been left to grow wild for quite some time and the trees were mostly 12 – 22′ trees. You can lose perspective very quickly in this environment. After chain sawing down what we thought was a “normal” size tree, we did not have any lucrative plan on bringing it into the farm house. Lucky for us, a fellow farmer was driving by and we talked him into assisting us. After an arduous and heavy journey to the living room, the farmer hastily left. Now, we needed to put the tree up. When we tried this and realized we had an 18′ tree and 14′ ceilings, we realized we better cut off some of the tree. So, out came the chainsaw in the middle of the living room, and what a mess we had!
We enjoyed our tree cutting adventure so much that we decided to share it with everyone! Thus opened the doors of Ty-Lyn Plantation. Some of our customers have been here so long, they remember driving out to the fields in their vehicle and honking their horn to tell us they were ready for our help. The farm has been happily supplying trees and wreaths to some of the best people in the world for over 20 years. Pops passed on in 1999 and John unexpectedly joined him in 2012, so send up a toast to them when you think about it! Please come out and visit us and see what we have been up to. Thanks and love to all of you!