[permaculture] Planting Christmas

Nicholas Roberts nicholas at themediasociety.org
Wed Dec 17 04:18:28 EST 2008

 Thursday, December 18, 2008
 Planting Christmas


Live, potted, native trees for sale for the holidays.

The Permaculture Group, a local business committed to "sealing the bonds
that allow communities to thrive," is holding its second annual Planting
Christmas native Christmas tree sale. Maui residents can begin placing
orders on a variety of live, potted native tree species, which are four- to
seven-feet tall, perfect for decorating and displaying inside or outside the
home during the holidays.

Last year, company founder and Olinda resident Joseph Imhoff initiated
Planting Christmas, a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) project, which
supports local native tree farmers and encourages Maui residents to
reconsider cutting trees for the holidays. Imhoff asks Maui to re-think the
Christmas tradition of decorating an imported pine tree, and suggests
everyone decorate a live, potted, native tree instead.

"As you might imagine, shipping in Christmas trees creates a world of
problems with invasive species, and completely discounts the value of our
local tree farmers," said Imhoff. "There's an easy solution to that—buy
local! It is a big part of our company's mission to encourage Maui to
support our local farmers, and it thrills me to think that more people are
considering having a local, 'no-cut' and 'non-invasive species' Christmas
this year."

Planting Christmas makes it convenient for Maui residents to buy a young
native tree, decorate it for the holidays, and then plant it after
Christmas. The Permaculture Group has partnered with local native tree
farmers, who have grown the trees from seed.

Imhoff hand-selects trees that are suited for an in-home setting, purchases
them from the farmers, and consults with each customer to make sure they're
buying the tree that is best for their area. Interested buyers can also
request delivery and planting assistance.

While searching for the perfect native trees for this year's inventory,
Imhoff decided on the ha'o, koa, and koai'a species. The trees are suited
for several different areas of the islands. The ha'o thrive in dry, sunny
climates. The koa does best Upcountry at elevations above 2,000 feet, and
the koai'a (or dwarf koa) can handle lower elevations and drier climates.

The trees start at $50 each and availability is limited.

For the past several years, Imhoff and his wife have used young, live,
Native Hawaiian trees as their holiday tree, and have planted the trees with
their New Year resolutions in January.

"The holiday trees that I've planted are growing big and healthy, and its
quite rewarding to watch," said Imhoff. "Every time I plant a koa tree, I'm
reminded that the slopes of Upcountry Maui used to be a huge, dense koa
forest. It was a completely different environment up until the 1800s, when
people decided to harvest Haleakala's precious timbers… It's fun, it makes
sense, and it's a gift to future generations."

For more information, or to order your tree for the 2008 holiday season,
call Imhoff at 250-1469, or email your order to proudtobuylocal at gmail.com.
To purchase the trees online, customers can make secure payments at

The Permaculture Group creates creative, engaging opportunities for
community members on Maui to participate in lifestyle changes that support
the local economy. This includes supporting local farmers, native
reforestation projects, food security issues, and promoting local
organizations and events that have a focus on community health. For more
information, visit www.permaculturegroup.com.

Nicholas Roberts
[im] skype:niccolor

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