Open Farm Sunday 7 June #OFS15


Open Farm Sunday.

The 7th June will see hundreds of farms all over the UK open up to visitors for a fun and informative family day out. It’s the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the countryside and an interesting and fun way to learn about farming.

Last week we were invited to Somerleyton Farms for a tour of the farm and information on what they plan to do on Open Farm Sunday.  

Somerleyton Farms are opening the farm gates to the general public for one day only. The farm will allow everyone to come and see the machinery (working demonstration), answer questions and have a fun day. With the aim to educate the public about what they do, how they do it and why.

Open Farm Sunday is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to find out more about farms and the great work they do. Discovering more about how our food is produced and how farmers help manage the countryside. 


Visitors can enjoy attractions such as different demonstrations, including, sheep shearing, tractor and machinery working demonstration, 2 Suffolk punches in their harness, and cow milking. 

Also, you can jump on the open tractor trailer for a tour around the farm estate to get a close look at the crops and animals. 

Plenty of fun to do with a rodeo cow, bouncy castle, the Rare Breed Survival Trust attending, a BBQ, milkshakes and much more.



So what did we get up to on our farm tour:


First, we got to meet the beautiful Welsh Black Cattle; we learnt about the breed, the breeding system and cycle, and how 50% of the cattle meat is provided to local produce.


We then headed to the potato fields, where the Farmer dug up a potato and explained the process of growing them. Also how the farm works in partnership with Greenvale, who supply crop to major supermarkets. 




The beautiful rapeseed field, used for animal feed, and cooking oil. The farmer explained how they are improving the soil by using the roots of the rapeseed that breaks up the soil, and by using organic matter it will help make the soil more healthy, which in turn will produce healthier crops.

Also, we got to learn how important bees are to the farm and their crops, thus they don't cut the verges, hedges or natural flowers, to encourage the bees to stay close.
Rapeseed

While on the tour of the vast farm, we were lucky enough to spot a wild deer. 



From the moment we arrived at the farm, Summer kept asking to see the "pigs, pigs, pigs". So when we got to them, she was rather excited. And to all our delight there were plenty of piglets running around...




Did you know, that pigs can have up to 30 off-spring per year? 



We also got to see the stunning rare breed, Norfolk Horn sheep; this farm has approx. 95.



A pleasant surprise was being introduced to some very special cows, where the cows are called by their name and they come trotting up. The cows are milking cows, but not your normal milking cows, these are milked for their creamy, raw, delicious, unpasteurised, Jersey milk. They are grass fed and what I found amazing was they keep their calves. - We also tasted some of the milk seconds from it coming straight from the udder - it was warm and creamy.





At the end of the visit, we went back to the barns, and the boys got to go on a tractor - as you can imagine they thought it was pretty cool.

It was a fantastic experience, we learnt heaps of interesting information, and the knowledge my boys took away great; it was very enjoyable.

We are hoping to return to the farm on Open Farm Sunday.