As soon as my little man started to match up objects with names, I can safely say farm animals have definitely taken up most fingers on the handful of words in his new vocabulary and remain the firm favourites. Learning the funny little meanings as he progresses from the sounds they make to the actual names is very amusing and super cute.
So when I heard Martin Lewis on ITV Daybreak tell me about Open Farm Sunday, which sees UK farmers open their agricultural gates for the public to experience true farm life, I was straight on the site and punching in my postcode to find the nearest participating open day.
Running since 2006 by national charity LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), Open Farm Sunday is fantastic (cheap) day out for the family. It gives us Joe public types a better understanding of how important our British Farmers are and how hard they work with nature to produce good food with environmental care.
We went to Glovers Farm in Kent, a fantastic farm which has been in the Glover family for 100 years!
We saw chickens, piglets (possibly just small pigs), cows and sheep. Bunnies you could handle, cute yellow ducklings that were for sale (yes I wanted one) and the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen. I’m not thinking about where he might be come Dec 25th. What else? Goats, lambs and lastly, ponies to ride.
We watched sheep sheering and sausage-making demonstrations plus there were plenty of activity stalls, face painting and small ride-on tractors to keep us entertained. My step-daughter made a flowerpot bug house to take home. Local fresh produce and country ale/wine stalls kept us grown-ups happy.
My favourite activity was the bumpy tractor-trailor ride. Ed the Farmer told us just what hard work goes into growing and processing crops, which in this instance was oats and rapeseed. I didn’t realise what a long drawn out process it is and how it can so easily be destroyed in such little time by the elements and nature. Did you know that a flock of pigeons can take out a whole field of rape in just two days if Ed’s not careful?!
The day finished off nicely for me by watching the joy in my son’s face as he sat, steered and changed gear in a big red, real- life “dictor” that’s “tractor” to you and me.
So be sure to put Sunday 8th June 2014 in you diary for next year and start looking out to buy food carrying the LEAF logo. I’ve done both!