On the 6th Jan we gathered at the Orchard as it was getting dark and hung lots of little lanterns through the trees and set up a table with cups and some warm mulled orchard apple juice. Once it was dark the orchard looked really pretty and we wassailed together with the fantastic help of Valmai and Lewes folk musicians and wassailers. Valmai explained some of the history of wassailing, how it was often a way in lean times for poorer folk to get some food and was that a whole range of products might be ‘wassailed’, not just apples. Sometimes the ceremony used to include putting a small child up in the tree. We chose one apple, one pear and a plum tree to wassail and command to provide a good healthy crop for 2019 and each tree had two party poppers blasted at it using the splendid ‘blunderbuss’ which you can see in the picture. This only shoots party poppers and nothing else but looks quite magnificent.

Wassail at Ringmer Community Orchard 2019