WEST GREENWICH – With over 100,000 Christmas trees and 14 varieties, Big John Leyden’s Christmas Tree Farm in West Greenwich has been a part of the holiday tradition for many families for 40 years now.
“We have real trees for real people. It’s about tradition, tradition, tradition,” John Leyden, founder and owner of the tree farm said in front of the television cameras from CBS morning news show.
For 18 years, Leyden has been appearing on the national news program to inform viewers across the country on what makes a good Christmas tree. On Friday, Dec. 3, Leyden filmed live from his farm to CBS viewers in New York for the 18th year in a row, the most appearances any one has made on the program.
John Leyden began his Christmas tree farm in 1970. Leyden first began working as a vocational agricultural teacher at Scituate-Johnson High School.
“When I was 14 years old, my dad said, ‘You have to get a job.’ So we bought six bundles of trees and we’ve been selling ever since. We thought if we’re going to sell trees, we might as well grow them,” Leyden said.
Big John Leyden’s Christmas Tree Farm is now a generational family business, with Leyden’s son, Tim Leyden taking over the business soon. In addition to Tim, Leyden’s other son, Matt and his grandson, Dylan also help out at the farm.
“Working with my sons and grandsons, it brings us all closer together. It’s great fun,” Leyden said.
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