Posts Tagged trees

a week of apples

applemanIt has been a good week for apple stories. I have been working with the story of the Appleman, an old Devon tale of two brothers and the care of a farm. A long time ago I worked on an Orchard Project involving stories, puppets and apple names and as part of that created an apple man puppet. 15 years later and that puppet was looking a little worn – well leaves tend not to last that long!! So Monday was repair the Appleman before working with a group of Nursery children who discovered the him up a tree. Tuesday was a reception class from Alphington Primary, pumpkin gathering, soup making and orchard exploring. Saturday out in Mincinglake Valley Park taking part in the Beacon Heath Growing Project‘s apple day. Sunday back to West Town Farm for the annual Apple and Pumpkin day. Very busy! There was the great sight of looking back on a long procession of familes walking from barn to orchard in search of … the Appleman! There is such a tradition of orchards and apples in Devon and so much that has been lost. Apple Days, in their various forms, seek to make a reconnection with tree and fruit and people. Certainly orchards are very beautiful places. West Town’s is a mix of young trees planted just a few years ago still with their chicken wire rabbit guards in place, and old, crooked, lichen covered, rough barked characters well rooted in history and place. However they are working places and seeing the windfalls gathered to be pressed in the barn is a reminder of how land and people work together. apple pressClick this apple press to see the process. (Thanks James!!) The Appleman in the story looks after those who after the trees and it is the older brother, thought by all to be slow and stupid, who shows true wisdom and wins the respect and care of the trees. The message is simple but to bring it to fruition takes work and time and love.


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Stories and Clay in the Henge

The Leaf identification and story session went well in a very warm and sunny tree henge. I tried out a couple of new stories which is always good. The Basket Maker’s Donkey has a lot of scope for linking in traditions of willow weaving. We made clay leaves after a walk through the woods and tried out technical words such as palmately and lobed. Using the right word can be so powerful.simple leaves This image comes from the excellent Forestry Commission guide to leaves found here

The Tree Circle is great place to work and my first attempts to make a tipi from a parachute and one pole created a focal point however it is looking rather overgrown and I need to get the scythe out!


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Trees, leaves and cows!

I am glad to be here. Lots of images and words and re-organising however this blog is now published and the real projects start.

I am off to West Town Farm tomorrow to work with a group of children on story telling and leaf identification.  It is always good to be in the circle of trees planted down in Easterbrook at the edge of the copse. I wonder how many of hazel trees will have nuts?


Friday is an Exeter City Council Play4Free event at Clyst Heath. This time the theme is cows. There are some good stories to be told, one from India about a cow and a tiger and another from Ireland that explains why a group of rocks look just like a cow and her calves.

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