The autumn sunshine brought the crowds to the first Apple and Cider Festival, at the Apple Farm, near Cahir, last weekend.
About 1,000 people descended on the popular local fruit farm for the first ever festival of its kind in the area, where they had a chance to sample local produce, learn about cider making, and learn about native plants as well as see demonstrations.
“We were delighted, we got good weather which was a massive help,” Apple Farm owner Con Traas told The Nationalist. “We had a lot of people come to try the ciders and on Sunday the Irish Seed Savers were very pleased, they sold a lot of trees and took more orders.”
Most people who went along last Saturday were interested in the cider tasting and those interested in horticulture attended on Sunday.
“We had great help from the South Tipperary Development Company who put money towards the Slow Food Ireland side of things,” Con said.
Slow Food Ireland’s local organiser Paul Deegan arranged for the marquee and has been planning for the festival for months.
The initial idea for the weekend came when a number of ideas, from different people, came together. Con explains that last Spring Seed Savers approached him because they were interested in holding their Apple Day at hte Apple Farm. Soon after this Paul Deegan spoke to him about holding a cider festival, and it was something that Con was also considering but was going to hold it next year. Working together they organised the wonderful festival that took place last weekend.
The highlights of the weekend were the enjoyable cider tasting on Saturday, as well as the cider making demonstration and advice on how to match cheese to ciders. On Sunday kids and parents enjoyed activities and tours of the farm, demonstrations, Irish Seed Savers Apple Day, a spice workshop and Slow Food Ireland were on hand to advise on local, Irish foods.
Although it was a very successful weekend Con says it’s too soon to say if the Apple and Cider Festival will become an annual event.