A Hobbit's Journal - An Ode To Apples



 

Today my thoughts turned to ‘apples’, fascinating subject. A simple fruit, a humble crop, yet filled with so much meaning and symbolism, especially in the Shire. Of course other races too enjoy growing and eating apples, I heard some of the apples in  Rohan are particularly good, almost magical even, growing in orchards so close to Gondor, blessed with warm sunlight and gentle sea breezes from the south. 

The Shire is also blessed with warm sunshine ( well most of the time ) and so apples from the Four Farthings are rightly considered some of the best in Middle-earth. Used in a variety of ways, Shire apples are probably most famous for the sweetest and most refreshing cider you will ever taste in your life. Easy on the tongue, it will make you sing after only one mug.

Gentle apple, symbol of love, long life, peace, fertility, and joyousness, the main ingredient in the best pies and tarts in the whole world. So as you can imagine, having a good and bountiful crop is very important to hobbits, so behold, Shire Wassailing. Some say it is just another excuse for a party...and they would be right, of course. 

The practice of wishing good health and a bountiful harvest for fruit trees is a centuries old Hobbit custom still practiced in the Shire orchards today. Sometimes the largest apple tree in the orchard is selected and then celebrated by throwing cider on its trunk...lucky tree. This custom is said to ward off bad luck from the orchard and encourage a good crop.

Sometimes hobbits go out to the orchards carrying the wassail bowl filled with cider, to alternately serenade the apple trees....now that's so lovely. There are songs, dances and blessings to convince the tree to produce the best and sweetest apples. Wassailing generally starts orderly, and ends up in drunken laughter and hobbits rolling down the Hill.

Always great fun really, so I will definitely be there this year. “Why so, Amorey?” I hear you ask. Well I had a dream about apples not long ago. I will not bore you with the details of course, but it was a nice dream and I think it meant something...like ‘ time to make a blueberry and apple pie’ or ‘ just one more mug of cider before going home’ 

So an ode to the simple but beautiful ‘apple’ is in order. To thee, sweet apple, I shall sing of love and faith, generosity and gratitude. Love not just between man and woman but as the driving force behind our existence and the relationships that we share with others. The generous apple satisfies body, mind, and spirit, and warns against sadness, for like attracts like. What we give will be the measure of all we receive. 

Thank you APPLE 

Old apple tree we wassail thee
And hope that thou shalt bear
For the Lord doth know
Where we shall be
Come apples another year.

For to bloom well
And to bear well so merry let us be
Let every man take off his hat
And shout out to the old apple tree.

For to bloom well
And to bear well so merry let us be
Let every man take off his hat
And shout out to the old apple tree.

Old Apple tree, we worship thee,
And hope that thou will bare
Hatfuls, capfuls, and three bushel bagfuls
A little heap under the stairs.

-Triditional English folk song for Apple Wassail 

P.S. More news about sausages soon