|Bill Batstone checks out his incense cedars.|
All the fragrant boughs of various kinds of cedars (really cypresses), noble fir and other evergreens are sustainably harvested. Wild species like Western red cedar, Western white pine, and noble fir from the Cascade foothills, as well as the salal that's used as accents, are harvested by specialists with permits from landowners or state or national forests.
Other greens, like the incense cedar and other boughs grower Bill Batstone produces at his farm on Oakland Bay, are plantation grown, with boughs harvested on a rotation so the trees keep producing. In all cases, the sustainable harvest of boughs is managed so that the trees continue to grow and thrive.
Another example of wildcrafting is the harvest of Ponderosa pine cones. The pine forests in the foothills of the Cascade yield an abundance of cones; these are gathered from the forest floor as soon as the trees begin to drop them. They add design interest and texture to the fresh, natural wreaths and swags and some of the centerpieces as well.
|Ponderosa pine cones, gathered from|
the forest floor in foothills woodlands
like those the left in the Cascades,
lend textural interest to holiday
wreaths and centerpieces.
Maintaining healthy forests in the area from which the Farm buys its greenery is only part of the story. Lynch Creek Farm ensures that all the noble fir boughs purchased for fresh Christmas wreaths and swags, garland and holiday centerpieces have been certified free from the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum or Sudden Oak Death. This pathogen can affect noble fir and other ornamental and lumber tree species across the country, so it's important to protect those resources with precauationary measures.
And of course, there's still another aspect of green. Jeanne, a happy customer in Texas, focuses on the figurative sense of the word when she wrote, exulting over her gorgeous, fragrant wreath, "My front door is making all of my neighbors GREEN WITH ENVY!"