Gardeners sing and shout for a good harvest

Basingstoke Gazette: Hook Allotment Association held itc community orchard Wassail event Hook Allotment Association held itc community orchard Wassail event

GARDENERS in Hook sang and shouted for a good harvest of apples and pears.

More than 60 people turned out to the Hook Allotment Association’s annual wassail, held on Sunday at the allotment site in Reading Road.

Members of Hook Eagle Morris Men led the ancient ritual, leading the group in song before dancing by the allotment’s communal orchard.

The trees were blessed with cider before the group shouted and clapped to ward off any evil spirits that might spoil a harvest.

The orchard has 25 trees, and the apples and pears grown will be shared between the 150 plot holders. Any remaining fruit will be used to make cider.

Association chairman Dave Webb said: “This is basically to ensure a good harvest, by getting rid of any evil spirits and hopefully the rain as well.

“Last year was not a good year produce-wise, but other than that, the allotment is going very well.”

The allotment, a first for Hook, officially opened last year after a campaign by residents. All plots have been taken and there are 40 people on a waiting list.

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