The tips collected Sunday afternoon on the Farm Cove Community Forest were hauled in to the Grand Lake Stream Town Building and community members converged — thus beginning the Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s 5th Annual Wreath Making Workshop.
With Christmas music ringing in the background and buoyed by cocoa and homemade cookies, neighbors caught up with one another, as they shared tips and techniques. “It’s fun to do one or two, I can’t imagine doing it all day,” said one participant as she bunched five tips and wrapped them with florist’s wire to the frame.
Part of a long and sustainable forest tradition, some participants at the workshop had been making wreaths for sixty years. Patiently they taught the next generation wreath basics, from techniques for securing pine cones to how to tie fancy bows. With over thirty participants working, and other folks just stopping by to say “Hello” and examine the progress, the Wreath Making Workshop continues to grow.
Washington County remains a major center for holiday wreath-making. The tipping and wreath industry employs hundreds of Mainers and produces over a million balsam fir wreaths each year. In its dual effort to preserve forest habitats and promote a healthy economy, the Downeast Lakes Land Trust supports activities such as tipping and wreath making. The community tipping field trip and wreath-making workshops that the trust began five years ago have become part of an anticipated yearly tradition.