In 1990, dismayed by the loss of so many traditional orchards and amazed at the 3,000 or so varieties of apples that have been grown here, Common Ground set out to create a new calendar custom to celebrate our most versatile fruit and the beautiful orchards they come from.
The first Apple Day was held on October 21 in 1990 in the old Apple Market in Covent Garden, London, bringing fruit back there for the first time in 17 years. It struck a chord. Since then, Common Ground have worked to extend, support and promote Apple Day countrywide through nurseries, fruit farms, restaurants, National Trust and RHS gardens, museum, art centres, community groups and schools who celebrate the day in their own place, in their own way.
Sue Clifford says; “Apple Day is not a marketing device, its creation has been impelled by altruism and idealism for living better with nature – the apple and the orchard are symbols of hope. They demonstrate how we can have our trees, bees, bats, butterflies, birds and badgers whilst growing good fruit to eat and drink.”
For more information on Apple Day, including ideas for games and activities, visit the Common Ground website:
Apple Day Comes of Age- some words from Common Ground
From the start, Common Ground’s aim was to initiate a new calendar custom- to invent a tradition so that the apple and the orchard would take their rightful place in our culinary and cultural lives once more.
Common Ground has supported and promoted Apple Day for two decades and this will be the last time that we do it. We hope that Apple Day will prove robust enough as a seasonal occurrence to make it on its own in future without parental guidance.
We shall see. But it is more likely to be printed in the calendar if it is seen, not as a marketing device, but as a genuine, popular celebration – we need everyone to call the event Apple Day rather than Harvest Weekend, Apple Fest, Pumpkin and Fruit Event or whatever – there is plenty that can be said in sub titles.
We should be grateful if you could make an extra effort this year to include some thing additional and unforgettable that will feed back into more British apples being grown and eaten, more orchards, more wild life habitats created, more Community Orchards and School Orchards made, more fresh apple juice pressed, good cider imbibed and apple pies eaten.
Please let us know of your intention to hold events as early as possible. Thank you to those of you who responded on the 2009 form. It helps us to help writers, radio and TV folk to plan ahead. We shall maintain an online Apple Day Events List from July 15th onwards. Any information and updates please to email@example.com
Thank you again for making this journey with us. We have made many friends on our way who share our passion, and we feel sure you have as well. We know how much time and effort it takes to put on an Apple Day – thank you for all your hard work and for making it such an enjoyable and successful day and providing a vehicle for people to express their love of apples, orchards and all the customs, rituals, songs, drinks, recipes and wild life associated with them.
We do believe that together we have made a difference - and there is room for much, much more.