Jonathan's Mistletoe Diary

December 3, 2013

Mistletoe events – outline news

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jonathan Briggs @ 8:38 am

First week of December – and I’ve not yet reported on this year’s mistletoe events in Tenbury Wells! How was last week’s mistletoe auction? What happened at the weekend? Was the Mistletoe Festival day on Saturday successful. How did the Mistletoe Foundation’s druid ceremony go on Sunday (which was, of course, National Mistletoe Day, Dec 1st)?

Well, I have to admit I don’t actually know – as I wasn’t there. Which is unusual for me, as I have been to every Mistletoe Festival weekend since it was established. But I can’t always be there and I had mistletoe commitments elsewhere this year. This did mean I could actually attend my own town’s Christmas lights and procession event for a change – this tends to coincide with Tenbury. That went well – though there was no mistletoe involved…   And on National Mistletoe Day I was delivering mistletoe for a wedding instead of attending the druid ceremony.

So how was it at Tenbury? Well information online so far is very sparse! Perhaps if I wanted to know perhaps I should have been there!

The Mistletoe Foundation report (on their facebook page) that “Honouring all done and it was a beautiful magical time shared by so many people . Mistletoe blessings to all”. So it sounds as if everything went well at the druid ceremony. But there are no news reports or blogs covering the Saturday events yet – come on Tenbury – where’s the News!!.

EDITED AT 18.28 TO ADD:
AN UPDATE ON THE DRUID CEREMONY FROM LEONORE NEWSON:
“The Druid ceremony went very well. Just a simple ceremony attended by about 50 people, not all them Druid. The healing properties of the mistletoe was sent around the world via the spirit of the Rover Teme. This ceremony was independent of the Mistletoe Foundation who have pulled back from this.”

Last Tuesday’s mistletoe auctions in Tenbury included 750 lots of raw mistletoe or holly (not including wreaths and Christmas trees) – but probably at least half of those were holly, not mistletoe. It would be interesting to see the stats for the proportion of holly:mistletoe over the last few years. My impression is that there is proportionally more holly than there used to be but whether that’s a decrease in mistletoe or just an increase in holly sold I don’t know.

Mistletoe prices were fairly good – averaging £2 per kg for good quality material (good white berries and intact green leaves) but only 50p per kg for lower quality stock (that’s the mistletoe with poor berries, tatty leaves, and a yellowy complexion). In practice that means a 10kg bundle/lot of mistletoe cost £20 if good quality or £5 if not.

The second auction is today – it will be interesting to see if prices differ  – they often do for the second one…

A comment on pricing: Do note that the prices above are, of course, wholesale prices of ‘raw’ mistletoe – and bear little resemblance to the retail price. The retail price is largely a reflection of the costs and labour that goes into ‘processing’ the mistletoe after buying it wholesale  – sorting it, cutting out the waste (which is often most of it – mistletoe has an awful lot of stem, and for every perfectly-pretty sprig there are usually numerous unsaleable ones!), trimming it to suit whatever market you’re selling to, and then packaging it (and in some cases shipping it). So when you buy mistletoe from a shop the price is mostly covering post-harvest and post-wholesale processing.

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Commercial break:

EMShopTry The English Mistletoe Shop for Grow-Kits, Grow-Kit Gift Cards, Books etc, and mistletoe of course.

Or go direct to Amazon to buy A little Book About Mistletoe – in paperback or Kindle formats

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