Did you know that it’s Open Farm Sunday this weekend?
A recent survey carried out by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) revealed that more than one in four people questioned (26%) were unable to identify that milk came from a dairy cow, one in five (22%) didn’t know that eggs came from chickens and just under a quarter (23%) were unaware that bacon comes from pigs.
Although many consumers think we should produce more food in Britain, the majority are unaware that we are currently 60% self-sufficient in the UK and many fail to make the connection between popular products like beer, porridge or mustard with British farms. Sixteen percent didn’t know crops used for breakfast cereals are grown in this country and forty-two percent were unaware that mustard seed is grown on British farms.
The survey also revealed that 26% of those questioned had never visited a farm. This is one of the reasons that we’ve been involved with Open Farm Sunday from the start. It’s our chance as farmers to invite people of all ages to visit the farm, to discover the story behind their food and to see what happens on a modern arable farm.
This year we’re making it an Open Farm weekend. Tomorrow (Saturday) Bill will be taking a group around Slamseys Farm on a guided walk where our visitors will be able to ask him questions, find out what’s growing in the fields and see a little behind the scenes.
On Sunday, we’re joining our neighbour James, who is opening his farm for the afternoon. Yesterday, we went to his introductory briefing for neighbouring farmers who will be helping on Sunday and there’s going to be plenty for visitors to do. Everyone will be able to see the tractors and machinery that are used to grow our food, meet a farmer on the tractor and trailer tour, and learn about wildlife on the farm. The ever popular hand operated flour mills will be there so that children can mill their own flour, either to take home or to keep the bread baker in the barn supplied.
If you want to find out the story behind our food and how farming affects our everyday lives, why not visit a farm on Sunday? The Farm Sunday website has lots of information about the day and you can search for an Open Farm Sunday event near you.