On a cold and drizzly Saturday afternoon a good crowd came by to join an old English celebration in the Orchard. Wassail means ‘good health’ and Wassailing is a way of wishing the fruit trees good health for an abundant harvest.
Our ingredients for a family nature experience were a tour of the Orchard….. a noisy procession….. singing a wassail song….. tree decorating….. a fire pit with marshmallows & monkey nuts….. and some delicious home-baked apple pies. An unexpected extra was a make-believe tea party with all sorts of food to eat made from the soil in the raised beds!
This was the wassail song: “Old faithful apple tree, we have come to wassail thee, will you bear some fruit for me, when the season changes?”
No one had been in the Orchard before, and there was lots of interest. Two of the families actually look out over the Orchard from their windows!
Some of the comments : “that was fun!” “I’ve never had toasted marshmallows before” “these monkey nuts are now my favourite food” “really interesting tour” “the apple trees look beautiful”
“best apple cake I’ve ever tasted!”, “the Orchard is a wonderful resource”, “I didn’t know it was here!”
We hope to organise an event on 21st June to celebrate the summer solstice to be part of the Plaistow Festival but if you have ideas for other ‘wild and nature’ things you’d like to happen, please do get in touch.
Don’t forget you can always turn up on Thursdays between 11 and 2 and help out with Jack and others in the Green Gym.