October 23, 2011

Apple day

Elizabeth Blackwell, 1739
Thursday was Apple Day, and there were celebrations all over the country, from cider stalls to nursery sales and from lectures to longest peel competitions. At our house we marked it in characteristic South London style, with a crumble made from stolen apples and supermarket plums.

For more on Apple Day, click here or get hold of Common Ground's wonderful Apple Source Book.

If you missed Apple Day this year, consider celebrating your local orchards by wassailing at Christmas and New Year. After rattling pots and pans to scare off evil spirits, pour cider around the roots of the biggest tree and sing a wassailing song to ensure a good fruit harvest next year:

Old apple tree, we wassail thee,
And hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we shall be
Till apples come another year.
For to bear well, and to bear well
So merry let us be.
Let every man take off his hat,
And shout to the old apple tree!
Old apple tree, we wassail thee,
And hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls
And a little heap under the stairs
Hip! Hip! Hooray!