After the Butte Fire ravaged much of the acreage around Mountain Ranch in late 2015 and the area saw the departure of many residents, Terry McBride sought to infuse some life into the struggling community. She and a small cadre of volunteers came up with Mountain Ranch is Blooming Again, a seed-sharing event that was very well-received in 2019.

The second-annual event is slated for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Mountain Ranch Resource Center, at the corner of Whiskey Slide and Mountain Ranch roads in Mountain Ranch.

“This is to lift people up,” McBride said of the goodwill that germinated throughout the 2019 event.

“I have so many memories of going to dances at the town hall,” she said of what inspired her to start an event in town. “I wanted people to be able to come together and be together.”

As the day started just over a year ago, the crowd grew quickly, with many area gardeners arriving with armloads of seeds to share with anyone interested in growing what they brought.

“The place was packed solid,” McBride said. “We raised $1,000 in just the drawings, and people walked in grinning ear-to-ear with half-packets of seeds.”

McBride says those who bring seeds concentrate on organic and heirloom varieties of seeds. There may also be some small transplants available for purchase.

A Facebook video from the occasion last year created by Madalyn Schiffel is highlighted by children creating crafts as their parents perused hundreds of packets of seeds, some open and some not. Booths featured area gardeners and farmers, and everyone passed by a table loaded with home-baked cookies and treats.

“You do not have to bring seeds in order to participate,” McBride stated emphatically. “This is the community sharing and having a great time.”

Just like in 2019, proceeds from drawings planned for the 2020 event are shared between the resource center and the Mountain Ranch Food Pantry.

“Come and join the fun, and maybe you’ll wind up with some good stuff to grow in your garden,” McBride said.

For more, call McBride at 728-7592.

Contact Mike Taylor at mtaylor@calaverasenterprise.com

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