Armagh's land, which is famous for its PGI protected Armagh Bramley Apple, will feature firmly on the food map yet again as the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre returns on October 26 for its sixth year.
Supported by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, the popular harvest fayre, takes place during the ‘Taste The Island’ 12 week long collaboration with Tourism Northern Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.
Organisers say the fayre will pay homage to those producers who use the Armagh Bramley Apple, those who produce food and drink products from our land and those who contribute to Northern Ireland’s overall food and drink story.
Thousands are expected to descend in the village of Richhill to celebrate the end of the harvest and to support Armagh’s thriving producers such as Ballylisk of Armagh, Symphonia Gin, Armagh Cider Co, Long Meadow Cider, McCrackens Real Ale, Wilsons Country, Apple Blossom Bakery and many more.
Speaking at the launch of the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre, Hamilton Loney said: “We believe our apples are the best apples in the world and the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre started in 2014 as a celebration of the Armagh Bramley. Year on year, Armagh’s food and drink story gets even better as more and more craft producers create amazing products.
“We are proud to give our local food and drink producers a fantastic platform to raise awareness of their products among local people. The fayre celebrates the end of the harvest so it’s great to bring everyone together to taste what our county has to offer.
“The Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre is a free event to attend. There are a host of other events which will run from Wednesday, October 23 in the village."
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell, who attended the launch of this year’s fayre, said: “This popular event really compliments the recent Armagh Food and Cider Festival by extending the celebrations to the end of harvest of our famous Armagh Bramley Apple.
“The Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre is a fantastic event led by our local community showcasing the best food and drink from artisan producers, farmers and growers.
“I commend the organisers and all the participants for continuing to bring this wonderful event to the heart of the orchard county where everyone can celebrate and sample some of the best locally produced cuisine.
"This year’s fayre will host over 30 food and drink stalls, fun and games for children, live cookery demonstrations with chefs Mervyn Steenson from Groucho’s and John Whyte from the Armagh City Hotel alongside our WI.”
UFU president Ivor Ferguson says the UFU is delighted to be part of the celebrations promoting local ‘home grown’ produce at this year’s Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre.
Mr Ferguson said: “Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre provides the opportunity to sample the pleasures of the agri-food industry, bringing together members of the public and the farming community to celebrate all aspects of the local apple industry. Consumers are keen to know where their food comes from.
“The Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre, now in its sixth year, is a great opportunity for members of the public to meet growers and gain an understanding of how the award-winning Armagh Bramley apple makes its journey from the orchard to the supermarket shelf.”