New harvest fayre launched to celebrate the apple in Co Armagh’s eye

RICHHILL will be a hive of activity later this month as locals will be welcoming artisan food and drink producers to the Village Square to celebrate the county’s famous apples.

The Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre, which will take place on October 25, is an authentic celebration of Armagh’s distinctive local food and drink and celebrates the Armagh Bramley which achieved PGI status in 2012.
Chefs, food and drink producers, people from the world of local arts and crafts will put on a spectacular display of Co Armagh charm which will celebrate the natural beauty of Armagh’s orchard country and Richhill’s built heritage.

Cllr Jim Speers joined Helen Troughton of Armagh Cider Company, Hamilton Loney, chairman of the Northern Ireland Fruit Growers Association, Assumpta O’Neill from Armagh City and District Council, Chef Mervyn Steenson from Groucho’s and Clive Gordon, chairman of the festival committee, to launch the event on Thursday. (October 2, 2014)
Cllr Speers said: “This event has all the hallmarks of what could become an annual celebration for the village of Richhill and the surrounding communities. It’s a community event whereby we can all enjoy a day which celebrates the Bramley Apple, our food and drink producers and their contribution to the overall economy.”
The event, which is sponsored by Irwins Bakery, Wilsons Country and Gilfresh, runs from 10am-6pm and will feature cookery demonstrations, apple peeling contests, an Armagh Bramley apple tart competition, music from local school choirs, a hog roast and tea dance.

Hamilton Loney said this year is shaping up to be a good harvest for Armagh Bramleys.
He said: “There is a lot to celebrate about the Armagh Bramley. Since it got PGI status we can celebrate the apple’s versatility and why it is known as the number one apple in the world. There are going to be plenty of apples this year and Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre is the perfect way to celebrate this.”
This celebration will also put Co Armagh on the map as a great place for ‘experiential tourism’.

Sara McGeary, Tourism Development Officer, Armagh City & District Council said: “Food tourism plays such an important part of the overall visitor experience for any destination. We are so fortunate here in Armagh that we have an abundance of delicious produce, including the Armagh Bramley, which was awarded PGI status in 2012. The Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre will undoubtedly be an incredible showcase for visitors wishing to sample our rich food heritage.”

Admission to the event is free and people can also pick up recipe books, learn about beekeeping and if you have apples in your garden but don’t know their identity, experts will be on hand to put a name to the apple.