Irish Food – Highbank Farm
|High Bank Farm Cuffesgrange in the heart of the Kilkenny countryside which produces organically grown apples for apple juice products and syrups.|
Highbank Farm has been growing apples in its orchards in Kilkenny since 1969. This was when the first apple trees were planted at this fifth generation family farm established in the 17th Century, to compliment Ireland’s first hop gardens already on the site. The Calder-Potts family who now own the farm have been growing here for over fifty years. The last ten years have been spent in organic production concentrating on the apple orchards.
|These days, the farm now owned by Rod and Julie Calder-Potts, grows dessert apples for fine Irish apple juice and syrup. Highbank Juices have become acclaimed nationwide and received plaudits from many famous food critics. No wonder, when the family really do know their apples! The fruit here is grown to the highest organic standards, without chemicals or herbicides. GMO’s are avoided also, since the farm does not use manure from animals which have been fed on GMO foods. The family ethos here is in healthy organic produce which has no negative impact on the ‘health of the individual or the environment.’|
So now you know the history and ethos – what about the products? Highbank Organic Apple Juice is a single vintage juice produced every October at harvest time. This deeply golden apple juice is pressed on the farm from it’s well tended organic apple crop, so the fresh apple flavours simply burst from the glass. It makes a superb breakfast drink or just a refreshing quaffer for any time of day. In winter, this apple juice comes with organic mulling spices to provide a welcoming hot drink throughout the winter – especially the festive season. A carefully mixed blend of hibiscus, ginger, mace, bay leaves, cloves, rosehips, cinnamon, cardamom and juniper infuse to give wonderful spicy taste and aroma – most cheering on the coldest of days. In 2010, the latest Highbank offering was introduced at the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. Organic Highbank Original Irish Orchard Syrup is a concentrated apple syrup which has a variety of uses. Some put it on their morning porridge, others use it to glaze hams or sausages, drizzle on cheese, pour over ice cream and pancakes and even as part of a dressing for a crunchy Waldorf Salad which has fresh apples in the mix. We are sure here at Good Food Ireland that our many discerning foodies will find myriad of other uses for it in the kitchen, alongside its role as a drink hot or cold. The syrup has an ambient shelf life of two years – but we are certain once you get hold of a bottle it won’t even last two minutes! It’s the first of its kind of product in Ireland and demand is growing fast.
Good Food Ireland is about discovering the best and that requires having standards.