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There We Went Wassailing

January 26th, 2013

“Health to thee, good apple-tree,
Well to bear, pocket-fulls, hat-fulls,
Peck-fulls, bushel-bag-fulls.”

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Last Saturday night, Mr Chiots and I went wassailing. It was the real wassailing, at a local orchard, with a big fire, lots of cider, both hard and sweet, musical instruments, candles, and toast soaked in cider.
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We gathered around the oldest tree in the orchard and sang the wassailing song, cider soaked toast was hung in it’s branches, then cider was poured around the base of the tree to ensure a prosperous year filled with load of apples.
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It was a fun event, something out of the ordinary. We were especially intrigued because we’d seen Hugh talk about it on The River Cottage Series shows we watched last month.
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John Bunker, the Maine apple guy who’s orchard the celebration was at, will hopefully be a guest on the Cultivate Simple Podcast soon. We talked about our experience wassailing on this past week’s episode if you’d like to hear a little more about it.
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After wassailing in the orchard, we all went inside for a potluck dinner and lots of conversation. Mr Chiots and I enjoy attending events like this. There’s nothing better than meeting new people and enjoying new experiences. No doubt there will be many more interesting community events in our future.

What’s the best event you attended last year?

9 Comments to “There We Went Wassailing”
  1. Joan on January 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

    That sounds like so much fun!

    Reply to Joan's comment

  2. Amie' on January 26, 2013 at 11:10 am

    It is awesome to hear people carry out traditions. The area my family lives in was a agricultural area until about twenty years ago, when most of the big cattle families sold their land and left. We had a town full of rich, Florida cattleman tradition, but that died quickly. Now, we are more of a transit area, with people coming and going. I sometimes forget that there is a bigger world out there.

    Reply to Amie’'s comment

  3. KimH on January 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Boy.. thats difficult to decide what is the best event attended.. there are quite a few that come to mind..

    I attended 3 of our CSA farm visits and at each we had food, good conversation, were able to visit their fields, some we were able to pick some veggies, in others we took a hayride in the fields on a horse drawn wagon, and one we had a corn roast. It was just too much fun.. There are 10 or 12 different farmers who are a part of our CSA, almost all of them Amish, so it was fun to see how our food is produced and get a real up close view of their way of life and farming.

    There were many close friends & family parties, weddings, & get-togethers, rides on the motorcycle to various places, and after work parties or picnics that were awesome too.. How can you pick just one? ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

    • KimH on January 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Oh.. I wanted to say.. how fun that is to have been a part of that wassailing. It sounds & looks like it was a really awesome time!

      Reply to KimH's comment

  4. Louise on January 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I had never heard of an Orchard Wassailing before. Thanks for the introduction. Does this kind of ceremony take place at a particular time in winter or anytime during the winter months?

    It sounds like it was a wonderful event to attend : )

    Reply to Louise's comment

    • Susy on January 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      It’s supposed to take place on the 17th of January. This one was on the 20th.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Victoria on January 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    How cool is that? Home brewed cider & signing in an orchard sounds fantastic, and the bonfire looks like it kept you toasty! After 15 years of living on the east coast I’m still a bit of a winter wimp, but I’m coming around :)

    Reply to Victoria's comment

  6. Sarah B. Hood on January 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I suggested to my neighbours who give me apples from their front yard that we should invite some of the folks on the street to wassail their tree last winter. They made the “back away slowly” face of fear. So we didn’t wassail it. And just look what happened to the northeastern apple crop!

    Happy wassail!

    Reply to Sarah B. Hood's comment

    • Susy on January 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm

      Ha, that’s too funny. Love the “back away slowly” look, we get that all the time.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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