Bord Bia, in conjunction with the Irish Apple Growers Association, will hold the inaugural ‘Blossom Walk’ which will take place on Saturday, May 3.
As part of the event, seven apple farms and orchards nationwide will open their doors and gates to the public.
The Apple Farm at Moorstown outside Clonmel is inviting members of the public to enjoy a guided walk, engage with the grower, Con Traas, learn about the history of the farm and discover apple growing techniques.
There will also be an opportunity to purchase some of the produce, which includes apple and mixed fruit juice, cider vinegar, and more recently cider.
Mr. Traas, who is chair of the Irish Apple Growers Association, has introduced new crops over the years, adding raspberries, cherries and pears to the strawberries, apples and plums that were already grown over 45 acres. The majority of this fruit is still sold from the farm shop direct to consumers.
The value of Irish apple production is almost €4 million according to Bord Bia and trade estimates. Culinary and dessert apple production accounts for 80% of the production value (€3.15 million), while cider apple production accounts for 20% (€0.78 million). Approximately 15,000 tonnes of Irish apples are sold each year, with culinary apples representing 47% of total sales. There are currently 83 commercial apple growers in Ireland.
Speaking ahead of ‘Blossom Walk’, Olan McNeece from the Irish Apple Growers Association said - “We look forward to offering visitors a unique opportunity to see how the Irish apple growing industry works first-hand. While no entrance fee will be charged, any donations made on the day will be given to “Blossom Ireland”, a very worthwhile charity who provide dedicated, therapy-led camps and after-school activities for children with intellectual disabilities.”