A family tradition

One centrepiece at many Christmas celebrations is an evergreen, known popularly as a Christmas tree, but none are more excited for the season than the farmers who hail from the hills of the Blue Mountains.

They make it their duty to transport Christmas trees to the Village Plaza annually to provide homes with this Yuletide icon.

This tradition, for them, has spanned generations and has even seen vendors enjoying 40-plus years of distributing trees.

Marvin Hall, a pine tree vendor, explained that cultivating and selling trees has been a family venture for years and it has remained a tradition he has carried on.

“Here so is the original place from mi grandfather and mi great-grandfather. A Mr Mahfood give dem this place pon Constant Spring pon di plaza here, seh yuh can sell yuh tree dem,” said Hall.

Village Plaza has been the go-to spot for customers to get Christmas trees from veteran farmer Desmond Ffrench.

He explained: “A 48 years mi deh here; here is the fastest place.”

Ffrench, a vegetable and coffee farmer throughout the year, makes the journey annually from Penlyne Castle in St Thomas to Kingston, and informed the Jamaica Observer that the process to cultivate the precious pine tree is quite lengthy.

“Six feet trees take three years to fully mature, and 10-15 feet trees take approximately 10 years,” said Ffrench.

For all their hard work, Hall admitted that sales did not exactly boom this year due to a number of factors; however, he remains optimistic that the trade will continue.

“From the last week of November people start to call and order, but it slow bad,” Hall said.

“It a gwaan one and two enuh; haffi give thanks fi di few weh we get,” he continued.

Ffrench shared the same sentiments as he implied that the number of vendors there may be affecting sales.

“Weekends were active, but profits are split because there are a lot of vendors here,” he shared.

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