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Samhain 2023

Article: Samhain 2023

Samhain 2023

Now that Samhain is once again upon us, when the Wild Hunt sweeps across the skies and we remember our ancestors and those that have gone before us, it’s also time to light the sacred fires and celebrate the Harvest Home, giving thanks for the bounty of the earth and acknowledging the transition of the natural world into winter dormancy. Apples are being harvested, and it won’t be long before our trees are ready to be sent out to those of you who have purchased them. Diolch yn fawr pawb - thank you so much for your custom! It’s been a real pleasure to meet (online and off) so many good and inspiring people, whether in the business of planting traditional orchards, a single tree for the garden, or in remembrance of ones loved and lost.

It's been a wild year. The website’s gone live and we’ve been delighted at how it’s been received. Orders continue to come in and we’ve already learned so much about the trials and tribulations of online selling. There’s still lots to do, but we couldn’t be happier with how things are progressing. Please do share the website with friends and family – it really helps us to get our name out there and hopefully allow us to keep doing what we do.

The trees continue to do well, despite the damp weather. We’ve ordered more rootstock, and it won’t be long before the new year rolls around and it’ll be time to start grafting again. On this note, and allowing for the fact that we would, of course, love it if you purchased all your apple and pear trees direct from us here at Tyn y Berllan, here’s a video of Nicky demonstrating the art of grafting apple trees created in collaboration with Cwm Arian Renewable Energy (do check them out – they’re a community based organisation with several projects on the go including building and supporting a thriving fruit tree network in Pembrokeshire and they truly do fantastic work) so that those of you feeling adventurous can give it a go. There’s nothing like the feeling you get from grafting your own trees – and you’ll be helping to keep alive the practice for future generations!

In other news, the search for a place to call our own continues to belabour us. We’ve looked at several properties over the last year, but every time there’s been something that stands in the way. Prices continue to creep up and on more than one occasion we’ve been gazumped by crazily inflated pounds per acre. Nonetheless, we continue to hold out our hope that the right piece of land is just waiting around the corner and remind ourselves that anticipation is the greatest form of pleasure. Though this does take constant reminding sometimes!

We’ve just collected nearly two tons of apples for cider making. A big jump in quantity this year – Dabinett again so it’s single variety all the way – but we’re hoping to start pressing in the next couple of weeks once the fruit has fully ripened. We’ve four big old whiskey barrels waiting to be filled and if it turns out the way previous vintages have, we’ll be happy (not to mention a little merry too).

So it is that we’ll be keeping busy over the next few months. Samhain for us this year will be a busy one too as we’re off to London tonight to deliver some trees for first thing tomorrow morning. We send you our very best wishes for this time when the veil between worlds is thinnest, and whether you choose to spend it communing with the Otherworld or simply enjoying time spent with friends and family (or alone with some hot grog!) we hope that after this period in which time is suspended, we can all return joyfully to the everyday world in a new cycle of creative and inspiriting activity that will last all the way through until the following Samhain.

Cofion cynnes,

Nicky & Gareth x

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