First things first


Friday, 7 December 2012

Wassail in the Pleasaunce!

~ Eat, drink, sing and be merry ~ 

Sunday 6 January at East Greenwich Pleasaunce Memorial Orchard

A ‘wassailing’ festival for young and old to celebrate and tend your community orchard. We’ll be mulching our park’s apple, pear and plum trees – then singing them good health for the coming year! 

  • 11.30am - Volunteers mulch the trees - all welcome to help
  • 12 noon onwards - Mulled cider, traditional songs, storytelling, hot food and drink 

We're really pleased to annouce that we'll have local a capella group Morrigan performing:

'Morrigan comprises Chris Evans, Chris Harrison, Rosaline Hone and Sarah Pavey.  We sing four-part unaccompanied folk songs, mainly traditional but including contemporary material as well.  We are also instrumentalists and provide music for barn dances and ceilidhs - two of us are callers.  We play and sing regularly at folk sessions at The Two Brewers in Croydon. Click here for more about Morrigan.'

12 Days of Christmas
As it's Twelfth Night for our wassail, Shakespearean actor and local resident Peter Hamilton-Dyer will lead us on a quirky route through the 12 Days of Christmas. 

Rich Sylvester and Nick Hunt will weave enchanting tales for young and old. Rich is a local storyteller, historian and forest school teacher. Nick is a storyteller, writer, wanderer and sometime bookbinder.

Martin Guha
Local singer Martin of Eltham Folk Mob will lead us in singing traditional wassail songs to bring good health to our orchard for the coming year.

Crafting for kids
Calling all kids - come along to make your own headdresses and join the wassail procession! Bring old Christmas cards or anything else you think will help you make a colourful crown.

It's been two years since the first trees of our community orchard were planted. Our apple, pear and plum trees are thriving, thanks to the orchard group's tender loving care, so we felt it's time to celebrate! So please join us for the Wassail in the Pleasaunce on Sunday 6 January - everyone is welcome.

 We'll start with some mulching of the trees at 11.30am to help their root development - if you'd like to help with this, please bring a shovel or just your willing self. And supervised children are welcome to help, too.

After that, the fun begins from 12 noon onwards - traditional wassailing songs, storytelling, socialising and mulled cider to warm the cockles, and as always Pistachios cafe will be serving hot food and drinks.

If you're a musician or singer and you're interested in contributing your talents, we'd love to hear from you. For this or for any other information, contact Rich on 07833 538143.

Don't know how to find the Pleasaunce? See the map below.

View Larger Map

Friday, 27 January 2012

Extending the Orchard

On January 8th, Transition Westcombe and many wonderful helpers successfully planted a further six fruit trees in the East Greenwich Pleasaunce, with the kind support of the Greenwich Pride award and the London Orchard Project, doubling the size of this new community orchard following last winter’s planting of an initial six trees
We had around 12 volunteers, including our own core team of 6 plus family members, new recruits, passers-by, several children, the head of the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, and one ward councillor (Alex Grant).
From the London Orchard Project, we had the help of David Blair, project manager, and Lewis McNeill. The two of them brought the trees, bare-rooted two-year olds; stakes and guards; equipment including spades, hammers, and fencing tools; and mulch mats.
In addition, Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces ensured that a supply of lovely mulch was on site in good time, sufficient for the new planting as well as for re-mulching the older trees.
The new plantings, which have added interest to a less-used portion of the park, include three varieties of apple, one of them a St Edmund's Pippin; a Doyenne de Comice pear; a Czar plum; and a gage. They'll add further to the biodiversity, wildlife and habitat value of the Pleasaunce, and act as a focus for future community activities, which might include an Apple Day and wassailing.
Creating the orchard has also inspired local people to become further involved with planting and biodiversity work and has forged new community links, with the orchard care maintenance group working with the generous help of the Meantime Nursery to plant an experimental wildflower strip in the Pleasaunce.
Photos courtesy of Gavin McGregor and Lara Ruffle

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Tree Planting: the Memorial Orchard is growing!

On Sunday January 8th, 1:00-3:30 pm, at the East Greenwich Pleasaunce, come ring in the new year by helping to plant trees- six more fruit trees to double the size of the Memorial Orchard and celebrate local food growing initiatives. We'll be putting in three apple trees, a plum, a gage, and a pear- the delicious Doyenne de Comice- all carefully protected with stakes and strong wire cages.

Last year's planting of six trees was a great success, and they have flourished through a hot dry spring and autumn. Thanks to the Greenwich Parks and Open Spaces Department, the Greenwich Pride Award scheme, Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce, and the volunteers who kept the trees watered and pest-free (asa far as organic methods make possible), we should be harvesting fruit in three years time.

All are welcome, for the planting, and to join the team of volunteers to help keep the trees growing through the year.