MADE IN OFFALY: Acclaimed rapeseed oil being produced on Offaly family farm
The Larkin family run a small family farm in Coolderry, which lies on the borders of Laois, Galway, Tipperary and Offaly.
The Larkins are Fintan, Jennifer and their sons Ronan, Enda and Darragh. All of them are involved in the production of Glen Field Rapeseed Oil, a fantastic product which is massively popular with shoppers.
Fintan proudly shows a picture of his father taken many years ago when his family used to thresh on contract for farmers in the locality.
“I guess,” says Fintan, “looking at this photo we know where my family gets the passion and love for machinery and farming from. “I grow cereals,” he explains, “which is perhaps not the most lucrative area in farming, but I do it because I love the process involved; I love the process of the ploughing, sowing, and harvesting of the crops.”
Fintan began growing rapeseed a number of years ago in order to produce an alternative source of energy on the farm with the aim of reducing costs.
“Initially, I grew the crop as a fuel which ran the farm tractors and heated the house, using the by-product known as 'cake'.
“After a while I began to think there must be other commercial uses for the rapeseed that I could investigate and venture into.
“After some research a real viable option that jumped out at me was the growing use of rapeseed as a food, an alternative to other oils such as olive and sunflower oils; and a healthier option than other oils.
“True enough, our oil did taste good with a beautiful, fresh nutty flavour.”
And so Glen Field Rapeseed Oil was born, a lovely product which the Larkins plant, grow, harvest, press, bottle and sell for customers to enjoy.
Fintan points out that at Glen Field farm the Larkins like to take care of the environment. He points out that cleaning the seed, pressing the oil, filtering and bottling can be demanding on electricity, so they have installed a C&F wind turbine which takes care of all the energy needs for the plant and the family's dwelling house.
“The turbine is another great example of a top class Irish product,” he comments.
“Not alone are we carbon neutral, you could say we are carbon minus because as the crop grows it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. This more than compensates for any carbon footprint down the line in terms of getting the oil to the shops.”
He points out that the rise in popularity of oilseed crops in Ireland should lead to an increase in the bee population. Bees are a vital part of the pollination of the plant in the summer. This contributes to a bigger population of pods on each plant. In return the bees have access to plenty of nectar.It is not uncommon for farmers to keep beehives for this purpose, and as an added bonus plenty of honey - another natural product for the shop shelf.
Did you know?
- Rapeseed oil has half the saturated fats (bad fats) of olive oil.- It contains 10 times more omega 3 than olive oil.- It has a high smoke point so it does not burn as quickly as other oils on the pan.- As a result, it is ideal for deep frying, shallow frying and stir frying.- It has a wonderful nutty flavour.- It is produced in Ireland, creating and supporting Irish jobs.
The Larkins have a fully certified processing and bottling unit on their farm which means that their oil is brought to you straight from the harvesting field as fresh as can be. At Glen Field their oil is extra virgin and cold pressed. This means they can extract the oil at low temperatures without the aid of chemicals thereby preserving the flavour and goodness ensuring a top quality oil for the customer.
For more information have a look at www.irishrapeseedoil.com You can email the Larkins at email@example.com. Mobile: 087 2113652. Telephone: 05791 31109.
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