Drumeen Farm is one of the oldest existing certified organic farms in Ireland where we grow, cold press and bottle our organic rapeseed and infused oils. We also cold press organic unrefined flaxseed oil on our family farm in Co. Kilkenny.
Ben and Charlotte Colchester were part of a small pioneering group way back before Organic Standards were even heard of here. They have been involved in the development, certification and promotion of organic farming for over 40 years. At one point the Organic Certification Body’s head quarter’s was based at Drumeen Farm. Their eldest child, Kitty Colchester, is the woman behind Second Nature Oils. She grew up immersed in the organic ethos.
Kitty’s mother, Charlotte, was almost constantly thinking about food. She grew her own fruit and vegetables, made her own bread, produced her own meat and dairy produce and had laying chickens. Practically nothing was bought in. Grapes, pears, plums, hazel nuts, peas, runner beans, beetroots, asparagus, cucumbers among many other produce all came fresh from the garden, dug or picked only moments before being turned into a delicious, wholesome and healthy meal. Food was 100% traceable and fresh where Kitty grew up …. really traceable and really fresh!
By the age of 10 Kitty was well able to milk a cow, make butter and kneed bread. The connection between the health of the environment, the soil, the animal, the plant and the human was taught to Kitty & her siblings the same way they were taught math and English spelling.
How Second Nature Oils came to be born
In 2006, Ben and Charlotte bought an oilseed press specifically designed to press a high quality culinary oil fresh for the house and to expel rape meal for their livestock. At that time Kitty was working in refugee and food camps in Ethiopia, where the importance of sustainable food production is most prominently evident.
Kitty decided on moving back to the family farm having been away for nearly two decades to start a sustainable food enterprise. At the time, culinary rapeseed oil wasn’t being produced in the Republic of Ireland. It hadn’t really been heard of here at that time. Now there are many conventional oils on the Irish market, but Second Nature still produces Ireland’s only premium organic cold pressed rapeseed oil.
“When we started production, 100% of Ireland’s culinary oils were being imported, now we export to the UK, Japan and China, we have even sold oil to the Arabs in Dubai! We are very proud to have bagged the award for the best innovative idea given by JFC Innovation awards in 2007.”
— Kitty Colchester, Proprietress of Second Nature Oils
Second Nature’s rapeseed oil is totally traceable from soil to oil. Their organic license means that their oils are grown without the use of chemical fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. Not only does this clean and natural way of farming ensure you get a product that is free of potentially harmful or damaging man-made contaminants, meaning a safer choice for you and your family, it also helps the environment by promoting a rich biodiversity and healthier ecosystems. For example, Drumeen Farm has thriving bee colonies, an unusually large range of bird species – including owls, hawks and buzzards – as well as an abundance of more previously common animals like rabbits, foxes and badgers. This rich biodiversity of species suggest that organic farming supports life itself and that mother nature is hard at work creating balance and harmony.
There is a growing awareness globally that there is a drastic need to change the way industrial scale farming is going. Large scale mono-cropping (sowing vast swathes of one crop such as wheat, soya etc) and then the annihilation of all competitors to that one crop through use of chemical sprays and other means is wiping out alarming numbers of species as well as disturbing the natural balance and fertility of the soil that has taken thousands of years to build up. Organic farming may not be the ultimate solution but it is a step in the right direction and choosing organic products such as Second Nature Oils is a vote for a more sustainable future whilst also consuming the most natural oil.