Such a lovely Autumnal Event
At this time of the year, apples are celebrated up and down the country and Shropshire is still home to many old orchards and new ones are developing. Most years we attend our local Apple Day down at the Greenwood Trust in Ironbridge. It is a family and dog friendly event and is well attended. There are events all over the country to support orchards, as the older ones are in decline and have been for some years. Our local Apple Day is held down at the Green Wood Centre (home to the Small Woods Association) in Ironbridge, and is supported by the Shropshire Apple Trust . Of course, this day is a celebration of all things appley and natural. A fruit nursery from Wales was present with a table to identify different varieties of apples – I spotted a really large cooking apple which could quite easily have been stuffed and converted into an inside-out apple crumble! There were two apple presses there. The first of these was a huge one needing one to two men to turn it and it produced apple juice for purchase or for free if you brought along a bag of good quality apples from an orchard not grazed by livestock. I can confirm that freshly pressed apple juice is delicious! The other one was a smaller one and children were encouraged to have a go at pressing. There were also pole lathing demonstrations (which you could also have a go at) and other green wood skills stalls too. There were stalls from Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Gorge Countryside Trust as well as the RSPB. An organisation called Tools For Self Reliance is usually there (and was this year) – they refurbish tools to be sent out to developing countries to help people out there be able to build and farm and generally get on in life. They also have tools to sell to folks here in the UK, so it is possible to buy pre-loved garden tools that have been lovingly refurbished. I spent some time chatting with the men there and chatting about spinning (because, as usual, I had a spindle with me and sat doing some spinning).
Lots to see and do
We also heard (rather than saw) the Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris Dancers and my dear friend, Suzanne Tumnus, was in the yurt telling stories. You can find out more about Suzanne here (http://www.cranesfieldbardicarts.co.uk/). She has been telling tales of apples and maybe the odd dragon or two to listeners there. I saw parents and young children plus the odd accompanying dog in there, captivated.
Suzanne Tumnus – weaver of tales of apples (and maybe the odd dragon!)
You are never too old for face painting!
I decided to be impulsive and had my face painted for the first time ever (it’s never too late to have your face painted!!). We also looked at the amazing miniature trees tended and cultivated by the Shropshire Bonsai Society.
This year the weather was really good and I do hope it brought lots of people out to visit. They have catering, a hog roast, cider, music, arts and crafts, apple identification and all sorts of other things going on. Oh, and wood working and basket making too! There is also the brilliant on-site coffee shop, The Greenwood Cafe, which serves hot drinks, meals and cakes with fine coffee being their speciality.
It was a lovely event and one I do thoroughly enjoy each year. I do recommend it and also recommend looking up The Small Woods Associationif you are interested in courses in woodland management and the like, or if you manage (or are interested in managing) a small woodland.