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North Carolina group has fun harvesting mistletoe


LILLINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- On a clear morning on a farm outside of Raleigh a group sets out in a flotilla of kayaks and canoes, in search of mistletoe

Forrest Altman is the leader of this merry band, it's a group with a cause.

“We were looking around for a place to raise money for conservation work and I though, mistletoe.” Altman explained.

Ancient Druids believed mistletoe held some kind of magical life force.

In Sweden, mistletoe was used to make divining rods because of its supposed power of revealing treasures in the earth.

Once blasted out of trees with shotguns, Altman’s group uses a more peaceful method

“If this is the mistletoe you just put the hook over it and twist.” River Guide Scott Sauer told the group

Over the past 30 years Altman a professor at Guildford College has been leading his crew on what they call the “sprig outing”.

Mistletoe grows in many parts of North Carolina, and while no one is quite sure where the western tradition of kissing under the mistletoe came from, it does help to make the season bright.

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