Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Ely Apple Festival, 15 October 2016

ely2-005ely2-010Since 1990 the charity Common Ground has been promoting 21 October as Apple [Malus pumila] Day, leading to a large number of apple-related events being held on, or near, this date each year.  The Apple Festival at Ely, Cambridgeshire, now in its sixteenth year, was held on Palace Green, in front of the Cathedral, on Saturday 15 October, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ely2-092Apple activities included children’s apple-and-spoon races, apple-shies, and ‘the ever-popular longest apple peeling competition’.  There were also stalls selling a range of different varieties of apples, apple juice, and cider, and a large number of stalls run by local charities.  Away from the main area, in the Cathedral’s Education and Conference Centre, members of the East of England Apples and Orchards Project provided two displays of different apple varieties – one of them devoted to local varieties, and provided an apple identification service.  This was done partly in the hope that members of the public might bring along samples of varieties which are thought to be extinct, but might be surviving as isolated old trees.

A large number of people enjoyed the event in fine autumn weather, and the atmosphere was such that stall-holders seemed reluctant to pack up and go home at the end of the day.

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