DRACUT — As everyone prepares to ring in the New Year watching the ball drop in Times Square and singing a round of “Auld Lang Syne,” a Dracut family has much to celebrate as the calendar flips to 2012.
Ryan and Christi (Enwright) Guthrie, formerly of Lowell, recently purchased the former Broken Wheel Farm on Broadway Road and named it after their two children, 4-year-old Lily and 1-year-old Mack. Another son is on the way, due in May.
Their first season of selling Christmas trees, wreaths and gifts has been promising, the couple recently told The Valley Dispatch. Christi, a Dracut native, says she’s glad to be back home, and Ryan, a Lowell native and home builder, has been impressed with the supportive community of Dracut.
The farm is now closed until Valentine’s season, but the Guthries have many plans for 2012. Check them out on Facebook.
Q: Christi, how does it feel to be back home?
A: I love it. We just moved in the week before Thanksgiving. Dracut is a big town in terms of the vicinity, but it has such a small-town feel. I grew up coming here (to Broken Wheel Farm), so it’s cool to now be on the other side. It’s just been great and we’re excited on so many levels.
Q: Was your first season a success?
A: (Ryan): We have four out of 450 Christmas trees left. The response from the Dracut community has been extremely positive, overwhelming really. People are happy to see it open back up.
Q: What is the comment you’ve heard most frequently?
A: (Christi) Just that they’re so glad we are back and that they hope we do really well here. People we don’t even know have been coming in, and then they’re calling their family and friends to come in.
(Ryan): We’ve had a lot of repeat business and business through word-of-mouth. And the article in The Sun really brought a lot of people in, too. People are glad to see another local business open up, and they’re also happy to have a place that will give their children an experience. People were even coming here taking pictures for their Christmas cards.
Q: What was the biggest surprise in your first season?
A: (Ryan): The overwhelming local support.
(Christi): Dracut is very Dracut– that small, hometown feel, so I’m not that surprised. But I was surprised that we also had people coming from Malden, Danvers, Rhode Island, and Vermont. They all left for long rides home with trees on their cars.
Q: What are your plans for 2012?
A: (Christi): Ryan has plans to put up greenhouses to sell hanging plants and annuals in the spring. We’ll do as much as possible and play it by ear. We’re also planning to feature mostly locally made products in the gift store.
We already have many local products, like Lisa Mistretta’s pottery, from Dracut; Chris Guthrie (Ryan’s brother) is a certified candlier and we carry his candles; Dracut-made hand-blown glass; Dracut honey by Michelle Merchier; ornamental metal designs by Nick Soucy of Mill City Fabricators; Jamie Volcanas, a Dracut photographer who does landscape photography is selling her prints here; and J. Drizzle Gourmet Popcorn by (Dracut native) Joe Choquette, whose company is located in Chester, N.H.
In the summer, we’d love to open up a market once a week in the form of a farmers market, but an “artisan” market instead. And in the fall, we hope to have hayrides, a corn maze, specialty foods and ciders, and maybe work together with the Ogonowskis, who sell the mums and pumpkins.
(Ryan): It was a good learning season, and next year we’ll adapt on our ordering.
Debbie Hovanasian’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.