Pupils celebrated the successful planting of apple and pear trees in the Mount Kelly Market Garden this week.
In what is now the orchard area of the garden, pupils laboured during an especially inclement burst of weather last Wednesday, to dig-in the new fruit trees. The previous week had seen the digging of the holes and the cleaning and preparation of the soil. Now, with great care, the trees were introduced to their new home. Once the roots had been covered, sapling protectors and tree guards were added to give our new friends the best chance of survival against the curious and incorrigible deer that leave their tell-tale cloven-hoof prints around the garden on the occasions when they leap the rabbit-fences and come for a nibble.
This week, the trees were properly and officially welcomed by a good old Wassailing – a traditional activity in rural parts of Devon which involves singing to trees, and blessing them with cider (or apple juice!). Accompanied by stringed instruments, pupils sang and read incantation-themed poems, paraded through the orchard in celebratory attire and blessed the trees with ‘cider’.
A great time was had by all, including the Head Master who joined the celebration, and we look forward to seeing the first blossoms of spring in the new year.