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Up to date information on the seeds and plants available from the Irish Seedsavers association is provided in the members biannual newsletter.
The Apple Catalogue is the culmination of many years work by people from all walks of life, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic. The trees in the catalogue are the first fruits of a new venture, a nursery which hopes to offer a wide selection of native Irish apple trees together with a few English varieties which have been proven in the Irish climate. The Irish Seed Savers Association and The Armagh Orchards Trust have been working co-operatively for seven years to create a National Apple Collection which now has a permanent home at University College Dublin. Many of the varieties in the catalogue come from this collection, while others are the result of our continuing work in the field. This work constantly reveals new varieties, e.g. Irish Molly and Farrell, all of which will become available for sale.
Archaeological evidence has shown the apple to have been a feature of Irish life for at least three thousand years. In more recent times Irish apples have been bred to survive and thrive in this unique climate without the use of sprays or chemicals. Dr Keith Lamb has been the only modern chronicler of the native Irish apple, and it is because of his research during the 1940s that we were able to discover so many of these trees. It has been a great joy to be able to re-introduce trees which were presumed to have been extinct. We are offering these native apples so that they may once again be in the hands of ordinary people to enjoy and pass on.
Because the nursery mother trees are very young and the material is so rare, it is going to take several years to build up the nursery, so we ask for your patience while we are establishing ourselves. To begin with we may have to graft some of the trees to order - there just isn't enough material to be able to offer every possible tree at the moment. So we ask that you review the catalogue and let us know what trees you would like. You send us your order with a small deposit and we will either send you the trees within a few weeks or, if they are unavailble we will send them the following autumn.
We would also hope that you will join us in documenting the characteristics of your trces once you have them planted. Although all efforts have been made to authenticate the varieties, we need your help in observing the trees as they grow, letting us know how you find them in vigour, disease resistance, and of course taste. Our co-operative efforts in documenting these trees will provide us all with a more solid understanding of the native Irish apple in a variety of conditions.