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P.E.I. hobby tree lot donates Christmas tree proceeds to Farmers Helping Farmers

HUNTER RIVER, P.E.I. — Because the Christmas holidays strategy, lights and decorations are showing in home windows, and plenty of autos are carrying house Christmas bushes.

Not less than a type of bushes was from the VanLeeuwen’s pastime farm on Route 2 in Hunter River.

Simone and Alec Webb have been joined by their dad and mom, Peter Webb and Trudy Spooner. Quickly the siblings had settled on a balsam — the most well-liked selection and Peter was sawing it down with VanLeeuwen’s buck noticed.

“This will probably be our third 12 months,” Spooner mentioned. “Yearly, that is simply one of the simplest ways to get our tree and assist.”

Spooner has expertise in worldwide growth from working in west Africa, and her husband Peter is a farmer. So to assist Farmers Serving to Farmers with their Christmas tree buy, “was an alignment of our pursuits and values.”

Trudy Spooner, left, works with daughter Simone Webb and Charlene VanLeeuwen to choose a Christmas tree for their family in Hunter River Dec. 4. Together they decided to leave this particular tree for next year. - Alison Jenkins
Trudy Spooner, left, works with daughter Simone Webb and Charlene VanLeeuwen to decide on a Christmas tree for his or her household in Hunter River Dec. 4. Collectively they determined to depart this specific tree for subsequent 12 months. – Alison Jenkins

Household farms

The VanLeeuwen household has been rising Christmas bushes for greater than 20 years. It began as a “make work undertaking” for his or her couple’s kids, mentioned Charlene VanLeeuwen when SaltWire Community visited their farm on Dec. 4.

“We received them (the bushes) they have been the scale of a finger, and so they (the children) would take care of them within the summertime and assist prune them,” she mentioned. “They received larger and so did the children.”

Charlene labored pruning Christmas bushes in the course of the summers in highschool. John’s household used to run a Christmas tree farm so it was second nature to assist their youngsters in a family-size tree endeavour. Lately, although, Charlene mentioned “we’ve aged out.” Her youngsters aren’t youngsters anymore — they’re 22, 24 and 27 now — however there are nonetheless bushes available on the holidays.

There’s round an acre of bushes to select from — Colorado spruce, balsam fir and Norway spruce — in quite a lot of sizes, mentioned John.

The VanLeeuwens are each concerned in Farmers Serving to Farmers, an Island-based charity that helps farming communities in Kenya with veterinary information for his or her livestock, assist for crop growth and by offering schooling, clear ingesting water and meals for college kids.

“It was a simple resolution to decide on that specific group because the charity that may profit from the bushes,” mentioned Charlene.

She mentioned the work the group does is life-changing for the farm households.

“It implies that youngsters get to go to high school, girls are getting extra schooling round care different animals or the crops that they’re rising, and simply the connections to the neighborhood,” mentioned Charlene.

Methods to assist

John and Charlene VanLeeuwen make a common donation to Farmers Serving to Farmers with the proceds from their annual Christmas tree gross sales, so the the group can resolve the place the cash is required most. The Farmers Serving to Farmers web site says all the present gadgets will make a big distinction. Each donation issues and will be made via the group’s web site: www.farmershelpingfarmers.ca

For many who like to focus on their donations. Farmers Serving to Farmers presents a number of choices like:

  • A bag to develop greens for a farm household: $20
  • Seeds for a backyard: $30
  • A photo voltaic mild for kids to review at night time: $60
  • 5 chickens: $85
  • Milk for 10 faculty kids for 3 months: $150
  • A fuel-saving range with chimney to prepare dinner a household’s meals: $250
  • A rainwater storage tank for a household’s clear water: $650
  • Provides to determine and assist a vegetable backyard for a faculty: $1,200

Charlene VanLeeuwen, left, watches as Alec Webb tries his hand at sawing down his family's Christmas tree under the supervision of dad, Peter Webb, at VanLeeuwen's hobby tree farm in Hunter River Dec. 4. - Alison Jenkins
Charlene VanLeeuwen, left, watches as Alec Webb tries his hand at sawing down his household’s Christmas tree underneath the supervision of father, Peter Webb, at VanLeeuwen’s pastime tree farm in Hunter River Dec. 4. – Alison Jenkins

Upcoming work

John is heading to Kenya for 3 weeks in January with a bunch of veterinary college students, he instructed SaltWire Community on the telephone Dec. 5. He figures they’ll go to round 50 farms to deal with sick animals and assist with dairy herd well being. The teams may even be holding seminars which lots of extra farmers will attend.

The veterinary group will probably be working alongside a number of different Farmers Serving to Farmers volunteers who will probably be engaged on totally different tasks, mentioned John.

In Kenya, there’s a small group of individuals working year-round for Farmers Serving to Farmers to deal with the day-to-day operations, mentioned Charlene.

“It’s actually a possibility to work in partnership. It’s not simply, ‘Right here, we’ll provide you with stuff,’” she mentioned.

To this point, round a dozen individuals have picked up bushes however there are heaps extra obtainable. Donations will be left with the VanLeeuwens, or on-line via the Farmer’s Serving to Farmers web site. Charlene mentioned it normally provides as much as round $2,000 annually.

Whereas different donations the group receives are focused for particular gadgets or tasks, the VanLeeuwen don’t earmark the funds for something specifically, mentioned Charlene.

“We all know that they’ll use it with care and provides it good thought and it’ll all go to Kenya,” she mentioned.

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