Old St. Nicholas Christmas Tree Farm filled with holiday spirit

Alan DelFavero, owner of Old St. Nicholas Christmas Tree Farm. (AMY PORTER/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

WESTFIELD – Old St. Nicholas Christmas Tree Farm opened on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and will be selling freshly cut Balsam fir Christmas trees on the weekends through Dec. 13.

On a visit to the Christmas tree farm at 198 West Road in Wyben, it’s easy to tell that this is Alan DelFavero’s home away from home. “You won’t find a nicer farm than this for the scenery. It’s been in the family since 1906, when my grandparents paid $300 for it,” he said.

The trees are $45, for 4 to 8 feet trees, and $55 over 8 ft. to as large as people want. Christmas music plays while you pick out your tree, drawing children to Santa’s shed that has smoke coming out of it from the woodstove, and a lifesize Santa inside who will sing in English and German. Cookies and Christmas tree coloring books are also evident inside.

Santa’s cabin at Old St. Nicholas Christmas Tree Farm. (AMY PORTER/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

Every year, DelFavero donates large trees to convalescent homes. Earlier this week, he drove one down to St. Joe’s Manor in Conn., and was accompanied by state troopers enroute.

DelFavero, one of six siblings, said after his parents were gone and the farm went up for sale, he decided he wanted to keep it going, and bought the property himself. He still has 50 acres, six of which are planted with Balsam firs. He said his parents are buried up here, and when he goes to put flowers at their graves, he tells them he’s still taking care of the farm.

It’s still not easy to run a farm. DelFavero said while this year the farm did all right, the previous two years during the drought he lost 600 trees each year. This year, he changed his preplanting routine, starting the trees in pots, and had better luck.

Mike Mozzi helps a customer load a tree. (AMY PORTER/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

DelFavero said the farm will stay in the family after he’s gone, a promise from his son, Alan, Jr. who is now a professor of finance at Alburtus Magnus College in New Haven, CT. “He runs the finance department at the college,” DelFavero said. He said his nephew, Mike Mozzi, 22, will take over running the farm.

Mozzi helps now to cut down the fresh firs for customers and loads the trees into their vehicles for them. “I love being up here. It’s so beautiful. It’s nice to help preserve the farm,” he said.

One of the reasons DelFavero may not have been able to let the farm go may have been one of destiny. DelFavero said his mother was one of four daughters of a family in Shelton, CT. When her mother died when Thelma was only six, her father gave her and one sister up to an orphanage, where she lived for seven years before Alice Booth of Wyben adopted her.

Mike Mozzi with freshly cut Balsam firs. (AMY PORTER/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

Alan’s father Louis DelFavero, who was working as a builder on a church in Westfield, saw Thelma one day at the farm, and was invited to stay for dinner. The rest was history.

Another part of that history is a perfect, 70 foot tall Norway spruce that stands proudly in the field at Old St. Nicholas. DelFavero said fifty years ago his mother gave the seedling to him to plant. Caring for it ever since, DelFavero has dreamed of sending the tree to Rockefeller Center for Christmas. He said they only take Norway Spruce trees, and want them to be 75 feet tall. His tree is 70 feet, and he said they grow five feet every year.

Alan DelFavero’s 70 foot Norway spruce, which he says is destined for Rockefeller Center one day. (AMY PORTER/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

“This will be all over the news, a tree from Wyben,” DelFavero said.

Westfield was interested in the tree for the 350th anniversary, but DelFavero wasn’t ready to let it go, and held out for Rockefeller Center. “It’s meant to go there. My mother got me this tree as a seedling. She said put it in the ground, and when you look at it, you’ll always think of me,” he said.

Old Saint Nicholas Christmas Tree Farm will be open Sat., Nov. 28 and Sun. Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the same weekend hours through Dec. 13. Masks are required. For more information, call 203-218-9656.

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