15 May Armagh Cider Tours – Long Meadow Farm
Long Meadow Farm – Producers of Cider, Apple Juice & Apple Cider Vinegar
Long Meadow Farm is owned by the McKeever family, who are third generation apple farmers growing and harvesting a variety of apples namely the PGI Bramley Apple and a selection of sweet apples, in the Orchard County of Armagh. Pat’s father started off the business in the 1950’s growing Bramley Apples which were handpicked and used within their apple cannery business. At that time, Long Meadow Farm was a thriving business which provided employment to many local women who peeled the apples which were stored in oak barrels. Pat was only a child then, little did he know years later some of these exact barrels would be returned to the family farm and used within his cider business.
Sadly Pat’s father Peter passed away and he took over the family business, it came second nature to Pat as he was born and reared within the orchards. Pat wanted to make his own mark on the orchards and removed many of the old variety of trees replacing them with smaller dwarf trees and various other plantations which were easier picked and produced a greater yield due to the closer proximity of planting. The apples on the family farm were sold to the processing market and used by housewives to make apple tarts. The cannery business, sadly was no longer in operation.
Our apple farming business went on for many years until we diversified into the cider industry. This new line of business was something we always wanted to do but with a young family we knew it would have to be put on hold as we weren’t prepared to give up our children’s childhood to start up a business. We started our cider business in 2014 with our son Peter (3rd generation) very much involved. New blood was once again brought in and with such passion, enthusiasm and research Long Meadow Cider was established.
Long Meadow Farm is a year round business, the nature of our work changes with the seasons:
Jan/Feb – Winter pruning
March – Early bud burst
April – Buds are developing into early pink flower
May – Apple Blossom
June – Apple set, formation of young apples
July/Aug – Summer pruning, apple development and growth
Sept/Oct – Apple harvest
Nov/Dec – Winter pruning & orchard maintenance
We started off initially with two craft ciders, we now produce six ciders, with apple juice and apple cider vinegar added to the range. Our products are now available in many hotels, restaurants, off licenses, farm shops and delis. With our apple orchard situated within the home farm and nestled in the orchard county of Armagh we diversified further into the tourism industry. We now provide a selection of orchard/cider tours to national and international tour operators. These have proven to be very popular and of great interest to our visitors.
Long Meadow Farm Tours Include
- An orchard walk explaining the different orchard plantations in place
- Visit to the cold storage facility where apples can be stored from harvest season in September straight through to June the following year
- Opportunity to see the pressing and blending facilities
- See our Apple Cider Vinegar room with tastings
- History of the Oak Aged Barrels
- And of course the opportunity to sample some craft ciders and apple juice
- Opportunity to bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it within a beautiful orchard setting
If you’re interested in booking a tour of Long Meadow Farm, please contact email@example.com