Cornish Wassail song blesses Camel CSA’s new orchard

January 7, 2023

The first-ever Wassail held by Camel CSA in north Cornwall is definitely the first of many to come!

We held it to celebrate the first fruit tree planted in our new orchard at Treraven Farm, Wadebridge, and to thank our donors for their generosity.

Wassail King Nick Roberts and accordion player Kevin Everett led Camel CSA volunteers in song, dance and loud noise-making to bless the trees, encourage bountiful harvests and ward off bad spirits.

The 37 trees, mostly apples, include some well-known traditional Cornish varieties like Pig’s Nose, Cornish Aromatic and Tregonna King. Cornwall Councillor Martin Alvey, Cabinet member for environment and climate change, ceremonially planted the very first tree – a Cornish Kea plum.

The trees are funded by Forest for Cornwall while Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) has allocated £5,000 for orchard tools and maintenance equipment, donated by Wadebridge-based Clean Earth Energy. Councillor Robin Moorcroft provided a new field gate from his Community Chest.

We’ll be using the orchard to host our annual Wassail and Apple Day events and training workshops to bring people together and share information about the environment, nature and adapting to climate change.

In the past nearly every farm in the Camel Valley maintained a thriving orchard. Most have been lost over the years and we’re proud to be doing our bit to reverse this decline.

It’s a thrill for us to establish a lasting resource that’ll provide apples for the veg boxes and become a fantastic habitat for birds, bees, bats, beetles and butterflies.

*Original song composed by Dee and Dave Brotherton of Tir ha Tavas, accessed from the Cornish National Music Archive

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