Carol and Patrick Rooney of Derrycamma Farm near Castlebellingham are members of the recently established Oriel Food Group (orielfoodgroup.ie) of quality food producers in the ancient region of Oriel, which is mainly in what is now known as Co Louth.
In addition to their existing product range of free range chickens and eggs, and traditional crops of wheat, barley and oats, they now grow oilseed rape for culinary use. While not organic, the farm is run on ecological principles and their range of high quality cold pressed rapeseed oils is produced entirely on site, using only their own oil grown from seed.
Derrycamma Farm Rapeseed Oil was launched at Ireland’s largest garden festival, Bloom, in 2010 and has proved to be one of the most innovative, having since been joined by the first flavoured Irish rapeseed oils, infused with Garlic; Chilli; and Lemon. It is now distributed by a number of companies, including Sheridans Cheesemongers - look out for it in selected butchers, speciality food shops and some of the better supermarkets.
Farmers are finding a ready market for rapeseed oil as, not only is it a healthy alternative to other oils (having, for example, lower saturated fat and higher levels of Omega 3 than olive oil) but, most importantly, it does very well in taste tests such as the Great Taste Awards too – and consumers just love the beautifully short food miles.