The leafless trees in our apple orchard appear to be slumbering in winter but the buds for spring’s blossoms have already formed and are waiting for just the right time to burst into bloom. Each winter Terhune Orchards follows an ancient Anglo-Saxon tradition of Wassailing the Trees. This 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 sprits 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!
Join us for the annual Wassailing the Apple Trees Farm Festival on Sunday, January 29 from 1-4 p.m. Every year in rain, shine or even snow we hold the wassailing under the boughs of our apple orchard’s century old trees. We dance, chant, sing and make lots of noise under the bare tree branches to frighten away winter’s evil spirits in the hopes that our apple trees will flourish in the spring and have a bountiful harvest next fall.
Put on your scarf and hat and come out for the afternoon to take part in the age-old wassailing festivities. Traditional Molly dancers dressed in black costumes play an important role in the festive reenactments of ancient rituals. 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.
The new, heated winery production barn will be open for wine tastings, cups of mulled wine and light fare. Gary Mount will be happy to answer questions about the new stainless steel winemaking tanks, the barn construction with recently installed solar panels and of course, our red, white and fruit based wines. Spice Punch, a local quartet, will return once again to perform old traditional songs and ballads perfect for wassailing. Inside the farm store you will find our classic apple desserts and fresh apples piled high.
Wassailing the Apple Trees Farm Festival is free and open to the public. For more information about the festival visit terhuneorchards.com or call (609) 924-2310.
The farm store is open daily, 9 a.m. –5 p.m.
The winery is open Friday- 12:00 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Find Terhune Orchards online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Terhune Orchards is located at 330 Cold Soil Rd.
Road construction alert: Part of Carter Road is closed due to bridge work. The only blocked area is from Rt 206 up Carter Rd to Bristol Meyer Squibb. Carter Road is open at the Van Kirk Rd, Carson Rd, Cold Soil Rd and Rosedale Rd intersections. Please follow detour signs or take Rt. 206 to Cold Soil Road. Call us at the farm store for assistance with directions 609-924-2310.