Apple Day was a Washout!
Sadly the sun did not shine on our very first village Apple Day and as the day went on, so the rain and wind strengthened. Still in ‘true Brit style’, this did not dampen our ardour and people turned up in wellies and raincoats ready to experience the event! One can never predict what the weather is going to be like in our country so we have to soldier on regardless, grit our teeth and enjoy our days out nevertheless. I suppose this gives us our so-called ‘bulldog spirit’. It also indicates why many of our greatest British fashion brands, Burberry, Hunters, Barbour and Mackintosh are all associated with raincoats and wellies!!
Preparations started early and we set out several traditional apple games (played at Halloween and Bonfire night as well as Apple Days) such as eating an apple from a string (no hands allowed!), apple bobbing (eating an apple from a bowl of water -again no hands allowed) and relay races – apple and spoon, apple on the head and apple between the knees – all ridiculous – but fun. Alas the weather prevented some of these from happening.
We also set up the apple press, adopt an apple tree and of course, the tea room – we had a veritable mountain of cake to serve – all home-made by people in the village and mostly featuring apples and other fruit – Dutch, Danish apple cake, apple pies, apple flapjack and many more. It all looked delicious. People started to arrive a round 2.00 with their buckets of apples for pressing. We were using a traditional hand press and people were eager to try it out and take home some wonderful juice.
Juice was available to purchase for those who didn’t have their own apples to press.
The main focus of the day was the orchard which is being developed by a local farmer as part of a project to maintain and restore old apple varieties especially local ones. Apple Days are held throughout the UK in October. This local orchard contains newly planted as well as much older trees and we were invited to adopt an apple or pear tree during the day – this means that during subsequent years the person adopting can collect all the fruit from that tree – helping the farmer to reduce his workload and allowing people to have their own apples.
A fruit tree specialist was on-hand to teach the correct way to prune apple trees and gave a demonstration in the orchard. She gave detailed information on looking after the trees to get the best possible harvest in terms of yield and also quality. Despite the battering rain several people joined this demonstration and learnt a lot about caring for their trees.
After standing in the rain for half an hour there was only one thing to do, get inside, in the warm, for a cup of tea and a piece of apple cake.
The apple juice was truly scrumptious!
Apple Day , despite the weather, was a great success!