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Celebration at community orchard
THE first growing season of a new community orchard was celebrated with a fair.
Villagers in Overton were invited to visit the orchard at Overton Hill to sample apple juice and fruits, and to take part in a traditional wassailing ceremony.
Although the orchard trees are not yet mature enough to produce fruit, the fair included orchard-themed products, as well as cakes made by Women’s Institute members.
Singers from Overton Folk Club performed at the wassailing ceremony, which aims to scare away evil spirits and ensure a good harvest in the future.
The orchard was created by Dr Veronique Kerguelen, of Greyhound Lane, Overton, who wanted to set one up in the village for everyone to enjoy.
The 45-year-old said: “Anyone in Overton can participate. The original trees were funded by the parish council, but this fair allowed us to raise money to buy the second lot of trees which will be planted in November.
“There has been a very big decline in orchards in England and I thought an orchard would be a place for the community.”
There are 13 trees in the orchard, but another eight to 10 will be planted next month, including pear and plum to join the apples.
About 100 people attended the fair, which Dr Kerguelen said was “very successful.”
She added: “There were people of all ages. “We had people who had planted trees who came to have a look at the orchard, and also people who didn’t know about it who came to find out more.”