Fourth class trip to Castlecor
On Monday the 17th of February I went on a trip to Castlecor Potato Factory, in Kanturk, Co.Cork, with my class. It took us one hour to get to Kanturk by bus from Killarney. When we got there, we put on our wellies and rain jackets
Castlecor Potato factory is owned by a man named Edward English. Castlecor supplies Lidl shops around the country with rooster potatoes. They also produce some Kerrs pink, which they distribute to local shops. Our guide for the day was a very friendly man called Steena.
The first thing that Steena showed us was the farming machinery that they use. I was shocked to see that the wheel of the tractor was the same height as me! Steena showed us combine harvesters, tractors, trailers and spreaders. We also saw a huge machine called a de-stoner, which is used to take the stones out of the land. (I think the de-stoner would be handy in my garden). Steena told us that the harvester they use costs a whopping €500,000 to buy! There were also a lot of storage crates for the potatoes in the machinery shed. Each crate had the initials EE on it, which stands for the owner Edward English.
The next building we went to was a huge shed which was actually a fridge. Some potatoes were stored here, ready to plant for the following season.
The next building we went to had a huge washer for the potatoes. At Castlecor they only use water to wash the potatoes. No chemicals are used. The bruised potatoes are fed to the cows on the farm.
Once the potatoes are washed, they are put in a large crate and a forklift transports them to the sorting and packing area. In this area, there are people sorting the potatoes according to their size. They then travel along a conveyor belt to the packing area. Here they are packed into 2kg bags and 7.5kg bags. Two men then lift the bags off the belt and store them in crates, ready to be transported to Lidl shops around the country and also to some local shop in the area.
Castlecor produces 6000 tonnes of potatoes per year. Each day they send 10,000 bags of potatoes out of their factory. They deliver 6,000 bags of rooster potatoes a day to Lidl.
We had a great day out in Castlecor. It was very interesting listening to Steena and Edward English. On the way home, we stopped in Kanturk and treated ourselves to chips!! Thank you Castlecor.
By Nathaniel Doncel
There are some lovely photos in the Gallery section which you can look at to see this lovely day out.