About the Farmers
John Roba dreamed of someday owning a Christmas tree farm. He found the perfect piece of land to make this dream a reality, and in 1984 purchased a 52 acre dairy farm in North Abington Township, a few miles north of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The first Christmas trees were planted in 1985, and the farm opened for “choose and cut” retail sales in December of 1990.
John married Sue in 1988, and together with their children, built Roba Family Farms into the successful business it is today. Jennifer, Jeff, and Jake can be seen performing many farm duties throughout the year, and especially during the open season. They have grown with the business and can fill in anywhere as needed, though each has their assigned work area. Jake can easily perform any kitchen duty, and is a pro at the donut machine. Jennifer manages food concessions during the fall season and makes wreaths during Christmas tree season. All three participate in farm meetings and in family business decisions. Jake is attending Duquesne University in Pittsburg, and Jeff is a student at Bucknell University. Jennifer has her own family as well as a full time career off the farm.
In 1993, Roba Family Farms began selling pumpkins, hoping this “side business” would help promote Christmas tree sales. But the pumpkin patch was so popular that, much like a pumpkin vine that overtakes an entire home garden, this side operation grew from its three acre beginning to encompass 25 to 40 acres of pumpkins. The original farm is now dominated by fall fun and harvest activities and is a major destination for locals as well as out of state visitors.
But don’t worry, the Roba family hasn’t forgotten about Christmas trees. They bought a 196 acre farm in Scott Township, known affectionately as ‘the Lakeland farm”, where they have been growing trees since 1999. The Lakeland farm has been open weekends for retail Christmas tree sales since 2007. The Scott Township farm is also the location of Roba Family Orchard, which opened in Fall of 2013 for ' Pick Your Own' apples.
Today, Roba’s is spread over three farms and grows 100 acres of trees, including evergreens, and shade and flowering trees, as well as pumpkins and other fall specialty crops. The Robas are proud to be a family-owned business and are grateful to the many visitors who come to Roba Family Farms to celebrate Fall Harvest fun and Christmas tree traditions.
The farm is closed for the season, and the management team is planning for a great 2014.