Friday, 14 December 2012

Winter Fayre

Silver Pine Cone Decorations
Last year at the school Winter Fayre, we sold Christmas decorations and little bunches of mistletoe, it proved a very popular idea and amongst the tsunami of children and parents. We completely sold out of mistletoe in a very short time. Obviously, we thought it would be a good idea to do it again this year.
The loss of traditional orchards has led to a shortage of easily harvestable mistletoe and a consequential price hike but with a little improvisation and determination it can still be obtained for free.
A Big Ball of Mistletoe at Dusk
I had spotted some large balls, fairly low down in a tree at a local park and like a good boy scout, I have a pen knife. Among the many blades and tools contained within my Swiss Army special is a small but effective saw…
See Saw
With the enthusiastic help of my son and a couple of his school friends, we selected and coppiced ourselves a suitably lengthy hazel stick (about 3m long). Then using gaffer tape, I attached the tiny saw to the end of our pole and hoisted it up into undergrowth.
Weapon of Choice
It was impossible to get any downward pressure on the small saw, but by shoving it quickly up and down, I eventually managed get a couple of large bunches (as big as my boy) down, before my arms finally gave out. Last year, I used my woodworking pull saw, a far smarter solution that exploits the weight of the pole; this time I didn’t have my weapon of choice with me, but at least the vigorous exercise kept me warm.
Tied into Bunches with Ribbons
Later on, back at the ranch, the branches were broken down into nice sized bunches; they were then tied up with pretty red and silver ribbons to complete the Christmas effect.
Good to Go
Soon the bundles were all boxed up and ready to sell at the Winter Fayre. From there they will be taken into people’s houses and dangled above sweethearts in an attempt to cultivate the love kisses and hugs that we all require, no matter what the season.

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