FARMING MATTERS: A chance to see beyond farm gate

LEAF Open Farm Sunday
LEAF Open Farm Sunday

If you have always wanted to visit a farm but don’t have any farming friends, now is your chance to see what goes on beyond the farmyard gates and fields. On LEAF Open Farm Sunday hundreds of farmers and their families across the country welcome visitors and showcase all that British farming delivers.

So to experience the magic of farming at first hand, put Sunday June 10 in your diary now. Some examples of quirky events that have taken place in past years include a bat walk and talk where visitors learned about these lesser seen nocturnal residents; poetry and a pint when visitors were treated to readings with a rural theme from both traditional and contemporary poets, rounded off with a refreshing pint; moo-veable feast where visitors were invited to tour a farm and then enjoy a picnic in one of the meadows; and meet the water buffalo where visitors got up close and personal with the buffalo via farm walks.

The theme for 2018 is ‘The Great British Farm Day’ and this is your chance to talk to farmers and find the answers to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask.

As well as producing nutritious food, farmers also grow crops for medicines and clothes, as well as crops used for fuel and building homes. Farmers care for over 70 per cent of our countryside, manage vital resources like water and soil, maintain miles of footpaths and hedgerows and provide homes for wildlife.

Most Open Farm Sunday events are free and farms of every type and size take part offering a range of activities – in fact there is something for everyone to enjoy with loads to see, do and learn. As well as learning more about how food is produced, visitors to different farms can discover why worms are so important for the soil, why there wouldn’t be much fruit and veg without bees, and how farmers look after animals like cows, sheep and pigs, and care for wildlife too. There will also be a chance to see science in action, including how farmers use the latest technology to farm sustainably and maybe take a peek inside a state of the art tractor. Many farms will offer a farm walk or guided tractor and trailer ride, nature trails and a chance to talk to the people who make all these things happen – the farmers!

To find farms opening near you on Sunday June 10 visit www.farmsunday.org