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Stories from the valley

Up the Hill to a Christmas Tree Farm

Contributed by Steve Beckley

My wife and I took a drive up the hill from Chico to Paradise to visit Mountain View Christmas Tree Farm located on the rim of the Feather River Canyon.  I knew I was on the right path as for the last mile of a narrow road I was met by cars with Christmas Trees tied to their roofs.

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At Mountain View Christmas Tree Farm you can cut your Christmas tree or buy a freshly harvested pre-cut tree, roast hot dogs, marshmallows and make S’mores. They have farm animals, offer fresh wreaths and local seasonal produce.  It is a great example of agritourism in action.

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I arrived unannounced on one of their busy days, but was made welcome by owner Joe McNally, a fellow Chico State graduate, who has been planting a sustainable forest of trees for over 30 years.

I took a walk through the forest to watch families selecting their trees.  I realized it was no easy decision to decide what the perfect tree was.   The more people in the group, the more ideas on which tree was the perfect one and no matter what age there were different opinions.  Finally a consensus would be reached, tree cut, taken back and put on or in the vehicle.

I enjoyed the fresh smell of the evergreens and the sight of kids excited by the opportunity to see the trees.  Once the tree-cutting task was completed, many of the families enjoyed hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows.

Sometimes as you get older Christmas just comes and goes, but this visit made me smile.  I enjoyed watching families have a great time and appreciated seeing them receive a brief education on how things grow.

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