It’s that time of year when farms around the country start getting our grain stores and machinery all cleaned and tidy, yards swept and gate posts painted. This is partly to ensure everything is in tip-top condition for when harvest starts next month but is also in readiness for the biggest day in the farming calendar. Open Farm Sunday, on 7th June, is the national open day for British Agriculture, where around 400 farms throughout the whole of the British Isles open their farm gates to show the general public what we do on modern working farms.
This year we are stepping over the county border into Cambridgeshire to help our neighbour, Michael Brown and his family at Bottom Farm in Covington. Michael grows many different crops, including borage, chard, and mangels, as well as the more standard wheat, barley, and rapeseed. We will be helping his team on farm walks, tractor and trailer rides, livestock displays, face painting and much more. There will, of course, be local food and drink for sale, but on the whole, Open Farm Sunday is all about getting the general public involved and hopefully interested in the where and how our food is produced, looking at the countryside and learning about the wildlife on farms. As such it is a free family day out which we will hopefully see some of you at ‘farmer Brown’s.’
Visit www.openfarmsunday.org to find out more about the whole day and a farm near you to visit. I have seen three farms in Northamptonshire this year, where in addition to the usual attractions, you can grind your own flour, talk to beekeepers, see how Northamptonshire cider is made and even see a working steam engine. It really is a great day out that has attracted over 1 million people onto farms over the years.