Each winter Terhune Orchards follows an ancient Anglo-Saxon tradition of Wassailing the Trees. Our most recent apple harvest was so abundant, we ask you to help us make the 2018 season great by joining us on Saturday Jan. 27 from 1-4 p.m. for our annual Wassailing Party. (Note: the date changed due to bad weather forecast for Jan. 28)
The wassailing custom began in England where many villages relied on the apple harvest. Knowing that the spring buds are on the trees in the winter, it was thought that creating a racket in winter would scare away bad spirits and ensure an excellent harvest in autumn. We follow this tradition by opening the apple orchards to visitors in winter with much fanfare and merriment to ensure a good harvest in the coming year. So far it has always worked!
Terhune Orchards owner, Pam Mount always looks forward to singing and dancing at the wassailing party. “Even though it is in the dead of winter, it launches us into anticipation for the warmth of spring and apple blossoms.”
We will gather under the bare branches of trees in our orchard that are over a century old. . Handsome Molly dancers dressed in traditional garb of black costumes play an important role in the festivities each year. Everyone joins in with chanting and music making, toasts of hot cider and placing gifts of cider-soaked bread in the tree branches while chanting the lively words of praise for the New Year. Bring noisemakers— drums, whistles, bells, clackers, or put a few pebbles in an empty coffee can with a lid. These will make a joyful and worthy noise to drive away any and all spirits.
Once we are done; we feast! Gather around the bonfire to roast a marshmallow and enjoy a free cup of our hot apple cider and warm apple cider donuts. Inside the farm store you will find our classic apple desserts and fresh apples piled high.
Spice Punch, a local quartet, will return once again to perform old traditional songs and ballads in the heated winery production barn. Enjoy wine tastings, cups of mulled wine and light fare. Toast the upcoming apple season with a glass of our Apple Wine, made with apple cider from our orchard.
Wassailing the Apple Trees Farm Festival is free and open to the public. Put on your scarf and hat and come out for the afternoon to take part in the age-old wassailing festivities. For more information about the festival visit the event page or call (609) 924-2310.