THE festive season is around the corner and along with it comes the fresh smell of Christmas trees grown at Englemere Farm by the generous hands of Rotarian Tim Gregory.
The Milton resident has planted hundreds of trees over the last decade, providing tender loving care as they grow to their full size over 30 months.
All profits from his live Christmas tree sales are donated to local services.
“It was just one of those things that came to mind, it's something I can do. It keeps me off the street,” Mr Gregory said.
“I've been doing this for ten years or more now. It's my contribution to the Rotary Club of Milton Ulladulla and the community,” he said.
Mr Gregory has spent most of his life working the land, moving to his farm more than 50 years ago and lived here ever since.
He said 150 trees needed to be re-staked and straightened following westerly winds earlier this year.
With a pair of secateurs in his pocket, Mr Gregory trims the trees into shape all year round with help from his wife Genelle, children, grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
“You've only gotta be here when a family comes and the child picks a tree. It's magic,” he said.
“To me, Christmas means family.
“I love it. Everything about it. It’s just a great day celebrating and Christmas trees are an integral part of the day.”
The most important job is shared between Mr Gregory and his wife of 54-years.
“Rotary always give us the option of saying where the profit goes and I think we have made some good choices,” Mr Gregory said.
Friend and fellow Rotarian Issa Shalhoub said he could not be prouder of the contribution his great friend provides the community.
“The proceeds from this year will go to the Renal and Palliative Care Unit at Milton UIladulla Hospital,” Mr Shalhoub said.
“It brings us all together at Rotary because we help on a roster, we do as much or as little as we can.
“It's a fun fellowship and we help the community,” he said.
A great deal of planning goes into the Christmas project, with 1000 trees already planted for 2017 and 2018.
All the Christmas trees were sold out four days early last year, so don’t leave it too late.
From Saturday, December 3 to Christmas Eve, or until sold out, visit Englemere Farm to select your tree and even cut your own for $35.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 4pm to 6pm, weekends from 10am to 6pm.
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