Derryvilla Blueberry Farm

Derryvilla Blueberry Farm

The idea of growing American highbush blueberries in Ireland was the brain-child of the renowned Irish horticultural scientist, Dr J G D Lamb.  His research from 1950 at the National Soils Centre in Co Wexford indicated the commercial potential of this slow-growing, long-lived American cousin of our native bilberry or fraughan, in Ireland’s sunny South East.  However, as the blueberry prefers a peat-land habitat, he helped an English industrialist, John Wilson, to establish in 1965 a 10-acre operation  in bogland in Co Offaly, near Portarlington.

After Mr Wilson’s death, the plantation was taken over in 1977 by Dr Lamb, colleagues Bernard Crombie, John Seager and their three wives.  The team, with willing local back-up, waged a long struggle against the plant competition and climatic conditions associated with the boglands of central Ireland.  John Seager, on early retirement, took over the plantations in 1995, along with his wife, Belinda, and since then growing blueberries has been a labour of love for them.

The farm sells directly to the public at the farm gate as well as supplying fruit traders, shops and supermarkets.  Three years ago we introduced a ‘Pick-your-Own’ opportunity, and this has been a tremendous success. 

We freeze a large quantity of the crop for processing and for selling as frozen fruit during the winter months. Our other products are Blueberry Preserve and Blueberry Relish, which are made for us by a Co Offaly jam maker, Ciara Morris, of Slievebloom Foods, Clareen, Co Offaly.

Ten years ago the farm got involved in the development of the tonic and preserves. We got wonderful help, advice and encouragement from Bord Bia and Darina Allen in the early stages of development, and the people who manufacture our products [Con Traas of the Apple Farm  who makes our tonic and Ciara Morris who does our jams & relishes] have worked closely with us to perfect our product.  When we started developing the tonic and preserves 8 years ago the quantities were very small, but quantities have steadily increased over the years and popularity has shown huge growth.
  Blueberry Trees
Derryvilla Blueberry Farm
Co Offaly

Tel: 057 8642882; 087 2466643

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