Meet the farmer with 40,000 apple trees
Producing 5m apples a year is no easy task but it is the norm at Con Traas’s 60ac farm at Moorestown near Cahir in south Tipperary.
The production statistics at The Apple Farm are fascinating, with each of its 40,000 trees producing between 100 and 125 apples each season.
Fifteen apple varieties, from Cox’s Pippins to cooking varieties like Bramley, are grown at the enterprise and sold to established bakeries in Tipperary and Limerick, with about a third of the apples going to “regular customers and callers to the farm shop”.
More recently, the enterprise has linked up with the Dunnes Stores, where the apples are marketed under the Grá fruit range.
Equally fascinating are the statistics behind the other fruits produced on the farm: two acres of strawberries growing six tonnes per acre; raspberries on three-quarters of an acre producing four tonnes; a half-acre of cherries yielding one tonne; and the three-acre plum plot producing a harvest of 15t.
Asked which of farm’s fruits are the most profitable, Con points to the cherries which he says were getting “€10 a kilo this year — nearly as good as producing beef”.
He adds that there is future horticultural work to be done on the cherry plot.
Overall, it has been a good year for the fruit at The Apple Farm, with all the fruits thriving apart from the plums, which suffered during the Arctic spell earlier this year and fell victim to every hungry bird around Cahir just before the crop could take off.