Bags of Help – please vote for Dorset Road Allotments

We have been really lucky to make it through to the voting stages for a new grant to continue our work to improve Dorset Road Allotments for the community.Bags of Help

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 390 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.

The public will now be able to vote in store from 27 February until 6 March on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.

The grant we receive will be used to improve access, rejuvenate planting and repair structures in our beautiful Secret Garden.  The garden was created by a former member who used it as an inspiration for his art work (you may have seen one of his paintings in our clubhouse).  When he left we decided to keep it for use by the community. It is a well-loved stop for visitors on our allotment trail. Unfortunately time has taken its toll and this grant will help us to restore the garden to its former glory and improve access at the same time.

So if you visit one of our local Tesco stores please vote for Dorset Road Allotments.

To find out more about the scheme visit the Bags of Help website

Wassailing the fruit trees on ‘Old Twelvey’

Wassailing is an old English custom dating back to the time of the Anglo Saxons.  The word ‘wassail‘ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’. It usually involves sharing a drink made from warmed cider, wine or ale blended with spices, honey and sometimes egg all served in one huge bowl.

It was celebrated on New Years Eve and Twelfth Night (6th January or on 17 January ‘old twelvey’ if using the old Julian Calender) and took two forms. The more familiar form is going from house to house singing in exchange for wassail – you’ll probably recognise this today as Christmas carolling.  The other, which is still practiced today on Old Twelfth Night in apple and cider producing regions of Somerset, Herefordshire, Devon and Kent is wassailing the fruit trees.

Wassailing the fruit trees is to drink to the health of the fruit trees and to encourage a good crop. Toast dipped in the wassail would be placed on branches and the roots of trees would be sprinkled with wassail.

This year we will be wassailing the fruit trees on Old Twelvey – if you’re around come and share the wassail and helps us drink to the health of our fruit trees.

You can read more about this tradition here: and here: