Here’s to thee, old apple tree,
Whence thou mayst bud
And whence thou mayst blow!
And whence thou mayst bear apples enow!
Hats full! Caps full!
And my pockets full too! Huzza!
— South Hams of Devon, 1871
Braeburn, Discovery, Red Jonagold, a million varieties with a million evocative names, and each one more delicious than the last. Every year the orchards spill forth a cavalcade of crimson, gold, and green, and it’s not just the leaves of Autumn. On the heels of this rolling bounty comes the rich smell of apple pies, spicy ciders both alcoholic and not, and all the tastes and smells of this seasonal treat.
History of Apple Day
Every year the UK gathers for a celebration of the most delicious harvest of the year, and comes together to share the joy and fun of apples. Events range in size from minor to full blown fairs in villages all over the country, where enthusiasts come together to share recipes for juice and cider, advice on how to properly grow their apples, and information on all the apple varieties available.
First made an official event in 1990 in Covent Garden, this event has been celebrated every year and has grown from a local event to one celebrated all over. It has grown from a simple celebration of the apple to a recognition of cultural and genetic diversity in food that should not be allowed to pass from the world.
How to Celebrate Apple Day
You can start your Apple Day celebration by gobbling down one of any number of delicious apple varieties, and checking out which Apple Day events are going on near your home. You can go and join in on the events and take in the unique varieties that grow in orchards near you.
You can also host an Apple Day event for you and your family, encouraging people to try new recipes and types of apples. Be sure to treat your guests with special ciders brewed at the nearby orchards, and apple themed treats from nearby bakeries. The heart and soul of Apple Day is supporting the genetic diversity of Apple Orchards not being consumed by monoculture farming.
Another way to celebrate Apple Day is to participate in the Apple Wassail, a traditional form of this ancient practice often performed as part of an Apple Day celebration. As part of the practice bread will be laid on the roots of trees which were then doused with cider. This practice was said to bless the trees and bring about good harvests.
Get out there and enjoy Apple Day, and relish the fruits of the season!