In an effort to combat a drought and preserve a tree species that is dying, Mendocinians are planting Christmas trees on farms.
The trees are made of recycled wood, and can be planted at any time of the year.
“The trees are not meant to last forever.
They’re meant to grow into a tree that is sustainable, and that is something that people have come to appreciate over the years,” said Mary Kelleher, a Mendocinian who owns a local nursery and sells Christmas trees at her farmers market.
The trees have been growing in a field in the Mendocina Mountains since September, with some farmers planting as many as 60 trees a day.
Many have been selling the produce to other people and the nonprofit, the California Harvest Festival, which organizes the festival, is looking to continue growing.
“It’s like a Christmas miracle, because you can just feel that a tree is growing in the ground,” said Kellehers sister, Susan Loesch, who is also the director of the California Farm & Garden Association.
“You can feel it all around you,” she added.
The festival was founded by Loesc, who has been a member of the Mendoceresque Society of Mendocinos since she was a child.
They hope to continue to provide educational programs for children and encourage them to participate in the arts.
“There are so many ways we can encourage our people to live a more healthy and fulfilling life, and we really feel that we need to be involved in the food industry and the arts,” Loescher said.
The first annual Harvest Festival was held in June, and now it is being hosted in Sacramento every year.
The event includes live music, a farmers market, and art installations.
The festival is also working on planting trees at other farms.
“They’re growing trees that are really beautiful, and the trees have a really good taste and a good aroma,” said Loeschers sister, Julie Loescha.
The tree farms are not the only way people are contributing to the festival.
The food donated during the festival is being sold at farmers markets around the state, and people are also donating money to the food banks.
“They’re donating food to food banks and schools and they’re donating money for the children,” Llesch said.
Mendocinos have been planting trees for about 150 years.
It is not known how long the drought will last, but the trees are beginning to die.
It has taken decades for the tree species to become established and survive, and this year the species has not been able to survive the drought.
The drought is expected to last into next year.
For more information about the Christmas tree farm project, visit www.mendocoinians.org