Local Tree Farm Offers A Variety Of Holiday Joys
There’s a new business in the area that has opened just in time for some area residents to have Christmas fun while choosing their tree and/or shopping for gifts.
John and Mallory Coan of Coan’s Dusty Acres at 1199 Frew Run Road in Frewsburg have made their tree farm into a special family-friendly Christmas destination. The Coans, who are employed at Cummins, are true entrepreneurs who utilize the farm John bought with his brother Steven Coan from their parents twenty years ago. Steven lives in the house and John uses the land for several purposes. He began raising beef cattle many years ago and has since begun other small businesses.
The idea of starting a tree farm was conceived while the couple was on their annual Christmas tree farm visit.
“I asked my wife ‘so why don’t we have a tree farm?'”
The tree farm was started in 2017 after he installed 1,750 feet of tile to properly drain the land. Five hundred trees were planted the first year and three years later the property boasts a variety of frasier, canaan and balsam fir and blue, white and black hills spruce trees totaling 3,500 trees with 3,000 more ordered for next planting season. After an excavator was purchased to pull tree stumps, an unplanned excavation business sprung up. Coan hopes to start a wholesale tree business one day.
“We knew that a life in agriculture was going to require diversity and we knew agrotourism brings people in,” he said. “We want to sell an experience where the kids who come think it’s the most magical place and have fond memories and they will bring their kids back.”
There are a few photo prop areas on the grounds that parents may want to take advantage of before visiting the Jolly Elf.
There is a gift shop on location where area crafters and vendors from Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren counties offer something for everyone on the list. Ideas such as holiday scented candles and wax melts, country decor and decorated wine bottles for Mom; sports items and a painting of the Bills Stadium for Dad; afghans, throws and quilted wall hangings for Grandma; or a sharp, new Rada knife and maple syrup, baked goods or a mug for Grandpa.
There is an endless gift selection for the teacher, such as water globes, bells, soap made from goat’s milk, jams and jellies. An extensive line of gluten-free products including soap, handwash, conditioners, body masks and more are displayed and a variety of cloth masks for adults and children, framed beadwork and home decor.
A special idea for the kids are the $15 Christmas Eve boxes that come with a card from Santa, hot chocolate mix, microwave popcorn, an activity sheet, crayons and an Amazon movie rental gift card. Another fun children’s gift is the ornament kit which includes an undecorated ornament, markers, stickers and glue glitter.
S’mores kits can be purchased for use at the outside fire pit in the warming area or taken home to enjoy. Kettle corn will be sold, as well.
A Salvation Army Angel Tree is located in the gift shop with tags for those who wish to purchase gifts to brighten a needy child’s Christmas. Bows are being sold with half of this year’s proceeds going to The Relief Zone. A new charity will be chosen each year.
“We’re big on community and that place down there has saved our local parents with schools being closed,” said Mr. Coan. A contactless Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch are waiting to greet the children. When Santa is busy, children can drop their letters in the letters to Santa mailbox. Christmas movies will be playing and the woodstove will be lit.
Although the business is currently open, Coan’s Dusty Acres grand opening takes place the day after Thanksgiving with the beginning of the nightly outdoor musical light show that can be seen from the comfort of your car when the music will come through the car radio. Pre-cut tree sales begin the same day with dry trees displayed under a pavilion and others outside the covered area. Christmas music will be wafting from that same area.
3C’s Catering will have their food truck on location on Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6 from noon until early evening. Hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, macaroni and cheese, taco in a bag and other winter comfort foods will be offered. They will sell baked goods, pies, cinnamon rolls, breads and cookies inside the building.
His wife along with his sister, Arianna Dipko, the shop manager, say John is the Christmas fanatic in the family.
“Our house had six kids and my dad worked endlessly and my mom was a stay at home mom. No matter how bad the year was, they always found a way (to make Christmas special). The whole living room was filled with gifts,” Coan said. “The day after Thanksgiving, Pops would drive all over until he found a tree. We always put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Most people go to Walmart. We always went to a Christmas tree farm.”
He continued on to say, “On Christmas Day we always had to eat breakfast first and then open clothes first, then the good stuff.”
Coan admits he is very picky when he buys his own Christmas tree and says, “The frasier fir is the Cadillac of Christmas trees. It retains needles and is soft and full. A fresh-cut tree that is kept watered will last a long while.”
“We built all of this ourselves from the ground up,” Coan said. “We couldn’t have done it without these people.”
He points to a sign posted on the wall behind the register that stated the same and has each person’s name listed.
“We would have never taken on this project without family,” Coan said.
Mrs. Dipko collected recipes from family members to share with readers.
Her sister-in-law reminisces while telling about making sugar cookies with her Grandma Ruth and specifically mentions the Santa, star, tree and angel cookie cutters they used to cut them.
“My mom has those now,” said the co-owner.
The Pop’s Stuffing Recipe is named such due to the Coan siblings’ father enjoying it to the point “he always had to have his personal bowl of it uncooked.”
Coan’s Dusty Acres can be found on Facebook or at www.coansdustyacres.webs.com or by calling 338-3374. Masks are required of anyone entering the building. Hours of operation are Friday 4 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the exception of Black Friday when their hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas week hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Christmas Eve 10a.m. to 2 p.m. Cash or credit cards are accepted.
1 c sugar
1 c shortening
1/2 c sour milk or add 1 tsp white vinegar to 1 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6-8 c of flour
In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add sour milk, vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated. Sift together dry ingredients and slowly add to the wet. Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
1 2/3 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash each of ground nutmeg and clove
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks salted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
3 c sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with pan spray or grease and lightly flour. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until combined. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before spreading with cream cheese frosting.
For frosting, place cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl and mix well with electric mixer. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once the frosting is thoroughly mixed, spread on cooled cake.
1-28 oz bag frozen potatoes O’Brian, thawed
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 T dried chives
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1-10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
2 c sour cream
2 c crushed plain potato chips
3 T butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, seasonings and cheese. Stir in soup and sour cream. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle potato chips over potatoes and then pour butter over the chips. Place in oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
POP’S STUFFING RECIPE
1-12oz bag Pepperidge Farms herbed seasoned stuffing cubes
1 can mushroom stems and pieces, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c onion, diced
1 1/2 c celery, diced
2 sticks butter
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
2 c chicken broth
Melt the butter in a pan and saute the mushrooms, onion and celery until onion and celery are soft. Add seasonings to taste. Put the dry stuffing in a large bowl and add the beaten egg and chicken broth. Mix very well – you don’t want the egg to cook when you add the hot veggies. Add the cooked veggies to the stuff and mix thoroughly. Bake the stuffing according to stuffing package directions.
AUNT JO’S RICE PUDDING
1/3 c rice
3 c milk, heat but do not boil
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c raisins, optional
Cook rice with a dash of salt, according to package directions. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add sugar, vanilla and butter to warm milk. Add the eggs to the rice, then add the milk gradually. Stir continually. Add raisins, if desired. Put the mixture into a greased baking dish and set the baking dish in a rimmed baking sheet of hot water. Bake rice pudding for 15 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with cinnamon. Reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes or until set.
1 c oil
2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 c ground nuts
3 c apples, chopped and peeled
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Then add the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Fold in the ground nuts and the apples. Split the batter into two loaf pans and bake for 1 1/2 hours.