Apples of Ireland
At our orchard in Lusk we had grown mostly the 'Jupiter' apple, which is a crossing of Cox’s Orange Pippin. It is one of the closest of the various ‘Cox crosses’ to resemble the original Cox in flavour. However, in early Spring 2012 we pulled out our plantation of Jupiter to make way for a further planting of pear trees. Although the Jupiter apple was a good apple to grow, and a good 'Cox substitute', I had been finding it difficult to sell because most customers wanted a harder apple and did not take to the softer 'cox-like' texture of Jupiter. Besides, it was growing in the most sheltered, sunniest part of our farm, and really pears deserve such a location better than apples!
We have a collection of a few dozen heritage apple varieties and other apples of interest. However the limited size of our orchard does not provide us with all the apples we need for our juice and cider, so we source the rest of our requirement from some of the best apple growers in Ireland.
In Spring 2012 we planted a new apple orchard in our New Field. Here we now have some very interesting new varieties of apple, including Herefordshire Pippin, Christmas Pippin, and Norfolk Royal Russet, which are all particularly noted for their exquisite flavour, and we have also planted a plot of Discovery, which is the delicious fruit which kicks off the new apple season each year.
At our market stall we have apples for sale for most of the year, as we have a refrigerated store where the late-keeping apples can be stored in good condition from picking up until May or June. We pride ourselves on having only the most delicious tasting apples for sale, while they are in season and at their best. This means that there is a sequence of varieties, starting with the early ripening 'Discovery' through to the latest 'Elstar' 'Wellant' and 'Jonagold' which will then store well through to the end of the season. We are the only people in the Dublin region where you can come 10 months of the year and be guaranteed to get the best quality Irish apples! If the Irish apples are gone, then we dont have any apples to sell - simple as that! - no imports!
The picking season starts with Discovery at the end of August, which is a flat-shaped, pinkish-redish coloured apple, often having lovely pink-tinged flesh. It is crisp and juicy with a balancing tanginess to the sweetness, a little bit like the old Beauty of Bath apple, which is one of its parents.
Next comes Cevaal, or Tipperary Pippin, Elstar, then the particularly scrumptious Wellant, and finally Red Jonagold, which is the last variety to be picked in October or November, and stores the longest.
We sell apples by the Kilo at our Market Stall, or by the box direct from the orchard.
I myself do not have the space to grow enough of the wonderful Dabinett apple for cider, so I buy my Dabinetts from Simon Mosse, one of Ireland’s best cider apple growers, in County Kilkenny. But remember, the best cider is usually made from a blend of apple varieties. The Dabinette can make quite a nice cider on its own, but I prefer to blend it with others.
You cant beat a good Irish apple - and we have them from August 'til June. Buy apples in season from our market stall or direct from our orchard.
For more information
- Apple Juice
- NEW! Apple Syrup
- Pear Juice
- Cider Vinegar
- Irish Cider
- Irish Wine
- Other Products