Sunday, 25 October 2009
It has been a good week for apple stories. I have been working with the story of the Appleman, an old Devon tale of two brothers and the care of a farm. A long time ago I worked on an Orchard Project involving stories, puppets and apple names and as part of that created an apple man puppet. 15 years later and that puppet was looking a little worn – well leaves tend not to last that long!! So Monday was repair the Appleman before working with a group of Nursery children who discovered the him up a tree. Tuesday was a reception class from Alphington Primary, pumpkin gathering, soup making and orchard exploring. Saturday out in Mincinglake Valley Park taking part in the Beacon Heath Growing Project's apple day. Sunday back to West Town Farm for the annual Apple and Pumpkin day. Very busy! There was the great sight of looking back on a long procession of familes walking from barn to orchard in search of … the Appleman! There is such a tradition of orchards and apples in Devon and so much that has been lost. Apple Days, in their various forms, seek to make a reconnection with tree and fruit and people. Certainly orchards are very beautiful places. West Town's is a mix of young trees planted just a few years ago still with their chicken wire rabbit guards in place, and old, crooked, lichen covered, rough barked characters well rooted in history and place. However they are working places and seeing the windfalls gathered to be pressed in the barn is a reminder of how land and people work together. Click this apple press to see the process. (Thanks James!!) The Appleman in the story looks after those who after the trees and it is the older brother, thought by all to be slow and stupid, who shows true wisdom and wins the respect and care of the trees. The message is simple but to bring it to fruition takes work and time and love.