Wilsons Auctions has been appointed by Bord na Móna to sell a complete herb processing installation which has been little used since commissioned in 2020.

The items to be offered include equipment for herb processing and storage with a set of instruments for the associated laboratory analysis of both raw material and finished product.

Ready for use

Major items include a leaf cutter, air cleaner, vibration cleaner, a packing and weighing station with associated conveyors and elevators.

There is also a range of maple syrup processing equipment included in the timed auction.

These include sap extraction pumps, reverse osmosis equipment, an evaporator and filtration press to ensure the final product is of the required quality.

Timed auction

Bidding will open on Friday February 11 at 1:00p.m and be live for three days. Lots will begin to timeout in one minute intervals from 1:00p.m on Monday, February 14.

Interested bidders are recommended to register 24 hours before the auction starts.

Viewing is strictly by appointment and is available from now (Tuesday, February 8) until Friday, February 11. The equipment is located at Bord na Móna’s Derrygreenagh plant, Rochfortbridge, Co. Offaly.

Herb handling specialist

The herb processing equipment is manufactured by Euro Prima, a Serbia-based company established in 2001 to produce machines for the processing of medicinal herbs and spices.

The equipment was purchased with the intent to process herbs that were to be grown on reclaimed bogs, with up to 50 different species being considered. These included valerian, marshmallow and lemon balm for use in food and cosmetics.

A national tonic foregone

It was also planned to harvest birchwater as a basis for a soft drink.

The tree sap is gathered and processed in a manner similar to maple syrup. Unfortunately, the project never progressed further than the research stage.

Sean Canny birchwater
Independent TD, Sean Canney harvestering birchwater in 2019

Independent T.D, Sean Canney, also suggested in 2019 that Bord na Móna be responsible for growing Ireland's medicinal cannabis supply should it be legalised.

However, this idea also failed to move forward.