Apples of Ireland
At our orchard in Lusk we grow 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. Jupiter grows and fruits much better than Cox in the Irish climate, and what I really like about it, apart from its flavour, is that it is very disease resistant, and so far I have never sprayed the orchard for pests or diseases. Harvest time is the best part of the apple season, but this is NOT how we pick them!!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHtf0fpgcbk
Apart from Jupiter, 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 me with all the apples I need for my juice and cider, so I source the rest of my requirement from a some of the best apple growers in Ireland, in Counties Tipperary, Wexford and Louth.
This winter we will be planting some new interesting varieties of apple, including Herefordshire Pippin and Norfolk Royal Russet, which are particularly noted for their exquisite flavour.
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, then Jupiter and 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.
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