The Apple Farm of Tipperary
The Apple Farm is located in county Tipperary in the south of Ireland. The Traas family moved from The Netherlands to Ireland in the late 1960's to grow fruit. The Traas family had been growing fruit in Holland since the 1800's, but because it was difficult to find new land there for fruit-growing, Willem and Ali decided to make a move to Ireland. They looked at a number of farms, and decided on the one where The Apple Farm is now situated, between Cahir and Clonmel on the main Limerick-Waterford road.
Apples have been grown in this area for hundreds of years, and since 1968 we have been planting more orchards to increase our supply. As well as apples, we grow pears, plums, sweet cherries, strawberries and raspberries. We also have a Camping and Caravan Park on the farm. And when we are not busy with this, you will find us making apple juice, and mixed juices from our other fruits; all done here on the farm. We even make a sparkling apple juice, and cider vinegar here too. We have a farm shop from which our produce is available all year round.
The Apple Farm implements an Integrated Fruit production system which uses non-chemical methods of pest and disease control, and seeks to preserve an orchard ecosystem abundant with natural predators and biodiversity. A 0.7ha habitat area has been developed on the farm to provide food sources and nesting sites for wild pollinator species that are under threat.
The Apple Farm provides free apples to local primary schools in south Tipperary annually, with 6000 free apples being distributed to children at Halloween 2017. The Apple Farm is involved in ongoing research with the University of Limerick including a project on the use of biochar in orchards to help reduce fertiliser inputs and increase the already significant carbon sequestration capacity of orchards.
A biomass boiler was installed in 2017 to replace fossil fuels with wood pellet, and Tipperary’s largest solar hot water installation is in place at the farm to provide hot water for juice processing.