Join next Tuesday at 8pm online for our next Ask the Farmer Q&A with Kilkenny farmer Rod Calder-Potts on Fruit Growing and Diversification in a Farming Business.
Located in county Kilkenny on land steeped in family history, Highbank Farm have been producing organic apples on the family farm since the 70s. Rod and Julie Calder-Potts are prime examples of farmers who have diversified their farm, creating an enterprise that is ecologically and economically viable. Their organic orchard supplies them with apples for artisan apple juice, apple syrup, apple cider, vinegars and much more, almost all of which are processed on the farm. They have more recently built a distillery on the farm and are now producing apple gin, apple brandy and apple vodka. Respect for and connection with nature is at the heart of the farm – “All of our production is to the strictest of organic standards. No chemicals are sprayed on the apples, neither are any herbicides or chemical fertilizers used.” They continuously work to enhance biodiversity on the farm. They have built two lakes, planted forestry all around the farm and sowed pollinator friendly flowers to encourage solitary bees amongst other insects. There is a wonderfully diverse range of wildlife on the farm, including a badger set, snipe, otters, kingfishers, raptors, buzzards, crows, rooks, jackdaws, ravens, magpies, jays, woodcock, as well as a wide range of insects and fungi. Rod and Julie are passionate about supporting small-scale Irish farmers and producers. They welcome visitors from near and far to their farm and run farm walks, talks, events and workshops throughout the year.
The ‘Ask the Farmer’ series runs this Winter and Spring where a number of our amazing Ambassadors will be on-line to tell us a little more about their farm and farming system and to answer your questions about farming for nature. More information here