visual artist

Wassailing the Apple Trees

Added on by Ellen Halloran.

A winter landscape can look bleak and barren but it may contain the promise of plenty in the year to come.

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Much has been written (and refuted) about the benefits of talking to your plants, singing to them, and even playing music to promote their healthy growth.

An old English custom involved wassailing the apple trees on the Eve of Epiphany.  Workmen went from farm to farm with pitchers of cider.  Following the farmer into the fields and orchards, they encircled the apple trees and sang toasts to them.


"Here's to thee, old apple tree,

Whence thou mays't bud, and whence thou mays't blow!

And whence thou mays't bear apples enow!"


"So well they might bloom, so well they might bear

That we may have apples and cider this year!"

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A new field of scientific study is called 'plant neurobiology.'  It seeks to answer questions of plant intelligence.  Are plants capable of cognition, learning, communication with other plants, memory, response to environmental input, and information processing?  The wassailers would answer with a definitive 'yes!'