A day at St Werburghs city farm

St Werburghs city farm hosts an annual wassail. Sporting plenty of layers under snug coats against the cold and trusty wellies against the mud, a group of us went along on Saturday to take in the music, hearty hamburgers, warm cider and ceremonial blessing of the apple trees it involves.

St Werburghs is a very special part of Bristol. Arriving at the city farm, just twenty minutes from the city centre, you can hear the crow of roosters and snort of little piglets while gazing across dozens of vegetable plots tended to lovingly by keen city smallholders. A walk through the long tunnel to Boiling Wells can bring you face to face with street artists in masks working on their latest mural, with the thud of house music to keep them company and the smell of stale weed in the air. Boiling Wells Road takes you to a neat collection of eco-houses, designed and built carefully by a conscientious and considerate community before another tunnel spits you out at the well-kempt Boiling Wells Orchard. The site of celebration and festivals throughout the year, it is often full of the sound of small children's laughter and the music of the latest underground folk artists to be circulating Bristol.

Saturday's wassail was one such event. The smoke of a small fire embedded itself, uninvited, into our clothes and we joined a throng of cider-drinking hipsters to encourage the apple tree to bear plentiful fruit through the year ahead. An infectiously wholesome afternoon, it left us with a wassailing song circling our brains and the warm feeling of having paid some respect to the spiritual natural world that we so often take for granted.

Photo: Rosie Pentreath
Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath
Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Photo: Rosie Pentreath


If you like this, why not try:

Live from the Lawn, Tyntesfield
• This is the city in which I live





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