Sisters' growing Christmas tree business honors late mother's love of holiday movies

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SLINGER, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two Wisconsin sisters from Slinger, Krista Peterson and Kara Kasten-Olson, are fulfilling a life-long dream of growing and selling Christmas trees. The tree lot is called Inspiration Acres, and right now, it's a pop-up tree and gift market, but they hope to grow it to a full u-cut Christmas tree farm. 

"We always had this crazy idea that maybe someday we could turn the farm into a Christmas tree, farm market, bring families out there have wagon rides-- the full experience-- like a real-life Hallmark Christmas movie," said Krista Peterson. 

Peterson's favorite holiday memories are the cold nights she spent at home as a child with her mom and sister with a blanket and a cup of cocoa. 

"We as a family loved Christmas. But mostly watching Christmas Hallmark movies," said Peterson. "My mom and I, we could watch movies for hours on end. Even though we all know the end to those Hallmark Christmas movies, there's something about spending time together with loved ones." 

They often talked about turning their family dairy farm in Slinger into a Christmas tree farm, but it wasn't until they lost their mom to cancer that they decided to start planting those roots.  

"We are so proud to be trying to do something to keep the local community growing and make mom's dreams a reality too," said Peterson. 

Inspiration Acres is about more than just coming to pick out a Christmas tree; they want you to sit in the sled. Take a picture with your family and make memories with the one you love.

Lights, wreaths and evergreen gnomes make a former bank parking lot feel like a magical scene in a Christmas movie. 

"I think she'd think we're crazy sometimes," said Peterson reflecting on her mom. "We're doing our day jobs and we have our families, but we do this because we love it." 

The sisters opened the pop-up three years ago to see if it was something they could really pursue. Some of the trees are grown by them, and some are from other local growers. This spring they plan to plant enough trees to open a farm in the future. 

A portion of all the sales of outdoor greenery goes to Corey's Project, a local cancer charity, in lieu of their mom. Inside they have a Christmas market where they sell gifts and decor made by local artisans, bakers and crafters. There are also Deco Mesh Wreaths for sale, and all of those proceeds also go to D11SC Deco Mesh Wreaths, another local cancer charity.

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