When the orchard is hibernating and the west county fog lies stagnant like a thick blanket covering the orchard floor, it’s the time of year for wassail. The verb, ‘wassail,’ means “health to ye” and it also refers to the warm, mulled cider that is drunk upon the night of the wassail ceremony. The ceremony itself helps scare the ancient evil spirits out of the orchard and helps ensure a bountiful apple crop and cider for the upcoming season’s harvest. Our farm’s wassail celebration took place just a few nights ago on the fourth eve of February.
Nothing beats a chilly, foggy night for wassailing. Fifty of our friends and colleagues gathered on the farm to share a warm meal, share songs and merriments, and celebrate the birth of Apple Sauced Cider, our farm’s cider house. Each and every one of these people had a large impact in helping us get started, whether they were instrumental in helping us create the idea of starting a cider house, or buying our cider as the purveyor of a restaurant, or just helping us get the word out about it.
One thing is for sure: the cider will continue flowing in many new varieties next season, and this year’s wassail was only the first of many, many years to come.