Photo – Balsam Ridge

Caption: The new wreath shop at Balsam Ridge provides a comfortable and atmospheric gathering place. Courtesy photo by Katelyn Lloy

Balsam Ridge Celebrates 10th Anniversary

With the holiday season under way, along with list making, endless hours of shopping and decorating, most of us will be in pursuit of the perfect Christmas tree. As Balsam Ridge on Egypt Road celebrates its 10th anniversary, I encourage you to stop by for a look. You will be rewarded with an abundance of trees in all shapes in sizes and friendly faces offering their help.

Balsam Ridge, owned and operated by Raymond’s Dewey and Sharon Lloy, is a family’s labor of love. Busy with their jobs and raising three daughters, the tree farm was originally a dream. The Lloy’s began clearing the land by hand in the fall of 1992 and planted their first 550 Balsam Fir trees in 1993, all of which have since been harvested. That same site has now been improved and replanted with 700 Balsam Fir trees. It is their underlying philosophy to plant more trees than they harvest. They currently have approximately 8,000 Christmas trees planted and will continue to increase that number each year.

As their hobby has grown to a very successful operation, they continue to make improvements to their business. This has been their largest and busiest year as they have built a sugarhouse and wreath shop to provide a more comfortable and enjoyable family experience. While most of us were enjoying summer barbecues and relaxing at the beach, the Lloys were busy planting, pruning and building their dream.

Not only have countless families experienced the joy in harvesting their trees at Balsam Ridge, but special occasions have occurred there as well. One young man proposed to his girlfriend while cutting their first tree together (she said yes). Balsam Ridge is also a Trees for Troops contributor; a program sponsored by the National Spirit of Trees Foundation and Federal Express. Participants in this program donate trees to those who have a family member in Iraq. The Lloy’s appreciate the service of those serving our country and felt it was imperative to acknowledge the sacrifices they and their families have made.

The process of selecting and cutting your own tree ensures that you will have a fresh and safe tree to delight your family throughout the holiday season. The Lloys’ goal is to try and provide the best Christmas trees possible while creating traditions and special memories for the families who visit them. Plenty of help is provided to guarantee your tree is tightly secured to your car. Netting is available as well. In addition, children can enjoy hot chocolate and candy canes while parents shop for wreathes and Maine maple syrup. For a memorable family adventure, I encourage you to visit Balsam Ridge. They are currently open for the season and will be open through Dec. 23. For hours of operation and further details, call 655-4474 or e-mail [email protected]

Raymond Conservation Commission Hosts Open Space Workshop

The Raymond Conservation Commission is excited to announce an Open Space Workshop that will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the Jordan Small Middle School cafeteria from 6:30-9 p.m. Under the Comprehensive Plan developed in 2004, the commission was given the task of creating a plan for protecting, preserving and increasing open space in Raymond. The purpose of this open forum is to introduce this mission; discuss how the commission has met that challenge by mapping natural resources; and to gather public input for future plans.

During this meeting, the commission will explain how it evaluated what types of land currently exist, set the values and criteria for special places and made invaluable maps. A hands-on Money on the Map exercise will take place where attendees will get a fictional $100,000 and put it on one of the maps created to depict our natural resources. These value areas are broken into six categories including recreation, water quality, habitat, land productivity, public health and safety, and scenic and cultural resources.

The commission hopes to extract opinions from Raymond residents why certain values are important to them. This will lead into a second map exercise where attendees will be invited to put a pin on a favorite area of Raymond to record special places. An enlarged aerial photo of the town will be available to complete this exercise.

In conclusion, any specific concerns, ideas and encouragements will be gathered. The input from this meeting will be used to develop a plan for a vote at the annual Town Meeting in May. Please attend this critical meeting and voice your opinions. Refreshments will be provided.

Annual Christmas Fair

I would like to remind you that the Raymond Village Community Church is hosting its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fair will include many items from which to choose including wreaths, cookies, baked goods, maple syrup, jewelry, gifts, and gently used merchandise. There will also be handmade crafts, a snowflake afghan raffle and a children’s shopping room. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

“An Untraditional Christmas Gift,” a CD sung and recorded by the youth of the church, will also be available at the Christmas Fair and at the church on Sundays after services for $10. The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise money to assist those traveling to Hondurus in August 2008. The trip is a mission to construct school rooms for the less privileged.

This unique CD has been named, “An Untraditional Christmas Gift,” as it has both holiday songs as well as songs that could be enjoyed year-round. These songs have been beautifully sung by Raymond youth and recorded and produced at the church. All those involved in the production of the CD volunteered their time thus allowing 100 percent of the profits to go toward the Honduras Mission Trip fund. By purchasing this CD, you will enjoy great music while supporting a terrific cause. Copies of the CD can also be purchased by calling Jeri Keane at 655-2709 or Brenda Stevenson at 655-3450.

Raymond Village Library Update

The Children’s Book Sale has been very successful and will continue for a few more weeks. Please stop by the library to look through the available books. The selection includes many favorites at unbeatable prices. The library staff wishes to thank all those who have contributed books to the sale as well as those who have purchased them. The library depends on its fundraising efforts and appreciates the continued support from the community. Beyond that, the library strongly believes in the importance of including reading as part of our children’s lives.

On Dec. 5, the Nonfiction/Classics Reading Group will meet to discuss Maine poets and poems. Please call Flonny Morrison at 655-4548 or Library Director Barbara Thorpe at 655-4283 for details.

The library is also preparing for its annual bake sale. Please mark your calendars for Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The bake sale has become so popular that many buyers show up early, eagerly anticipating their favorite homemade goods. With its wonderful team of baking volunteers, you can be assured your favorites will be there.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.