We planted our first Afghan Christmas trees in 1986 as an experiment to see if Christmas trees would grow in Bosque County. Our 9-acre tree farm is part of a ranch that was purchased in 1946 by Kenneth’s parents, Sam and Doris Radde, when their Hill County property became part of Lake Whitney. Registered Polled Hereford cattle have been raised on Radde Ranch since that time.
Our ranch had a pretty interesting history before the Raddes bought it. From 1914 to 1940 the property was owned by Governors Ma and Pa Ferguson, who used it as their “summer home place.” In fact, one of the first paved roads in Texas was FM 1991 that leads to the farm.
As a child Kenneth and his family bathed in the same footed bathtub that two Texas governors used! Kenneth and Kathy moved to the ranch in 1969 after two and a half years in Germany with the military, living in Ma and Pa Ferguson’s “caretaker’s house” where we raised our two kids, Karl and Anna.
We sold our first trees in 1990 and have been producing Christmas trees ever since for an ever-widening circle of happy families who are continuing their “real tree” tradition. Kathy is the main “top-pruner”, and Kenneth comes behind with the shearing tool to make sure that each tree is the “perfect Christmas tree.” A great group of “elves” help out during planting time and selling season, and one hired employee helps with mowing and weed control during the growing season.