12:02pm Saturday 1st March 2014
AN ABERGAVENNY gardening group turned back the clock as they re-enacted old farming traditions and took part in a ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest.
Around 20 supporters and members of Abergavenny Area Community Orchards and Gardens gathered at the acre-site off Mill Street to witness its official launch and to celebrate the new year.
The community fruit and vegetables growing project was launched in 2011 and planted in 2012.
A butler, dressed in black, and three musicians led the Father of the Orchard, Laurie Jones, and Sarah Burch, Mother of the Orchard and supporters around the boundary of the orchard.
Mr Jones said: “The banging of tin lids and trays produced a cacophony of sounds before we blessed one of the 86 cider and perry trees, which we marched around three times.”
Fertility symbols were placed around the tree to encourage a good harvest before the group sang a Wassail song ‘Farmers Boy’ and passed around the ‘Wassailing Cup; which contained Gloucester cider.
Mr Jones said the blessing lasted an hour and he hopes the event will be held again next year.
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