In 1990 Common Ground launched the very first Apple Day in the UK. The date was set for 21st October with the idea that it would become a set date in the calendar to provide an opportunity to celebrate the fruit harvest of autumn as well as the rich variety of British apples, and remind people how important it is to keep those varieties alive and support our fruit growers to do that.
The aim was also to remember the importance of the richness and diversity of our landscape and ecology, our food culture and to raise awareness of the provenance and traceability of food, and celebrate local varieties of apples and other foods, including the rich autumn wild harvest, whilst being aware of the global nature of our food system. All of these aims are important to Incredible Edible and across the UK Incredible Edible groups enjoy celebrating Apple Day.
Apple Day’s success has relied on communities, who have held events and joyous celebrations that have become an important part of the annual community calendar. From harvesting to pressing and cider making, to jam and pie making and community meals, Apple Day has secured its place as the autumn community festival, and Common Ground are often heard suggesting it could become an autumn holiday.
Apple Day also talks of our wild autumn harvest. Of crab apples and elderberries and which in past days would have been picked and preserved to see a family through the winter whilst fruit and fresh produce are less available. Of nuts and berries being turned into festive foods as part of the important festivities of midwinter. And of course, all these harvests, available in smaller quantities over history as the common lands in which communities secured their wild harvest disappeared under private ownership, are now seen as a big part of communities taking back control of their local food system, and becoming more resilient and connected.
Many Incredible Edible groups hold Apple Day events and here at the Incredible Edible Network we would love to hear your stories about your celebrations. Why not get in touch and let us share your stories about Apple Day or another celebration you take part in annually?