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11 places to visit on Open Farm Sunday 2018

PUBLISHED: 19:43 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:11 06 June 2018

The fields of East Anglia are flush with yellow  Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The fields of East Anglia are flush with yellow Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Matthew Dixon

Meet the producers and farmers behind what goes on your plate.

Since 2006 LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) has been encouraging farmers to fling open their gates to the public for one very special day.

A lot is written about modern farming practises and food and drink production, but Open Farm Sunday gives you and your family the chance to don your favourite pair of wellies and spend a little time seeing first-hand just how hardworking folk up and down the country get wine, beer, cheese, pork, beef, lamb and chicken onto your plate.

Here are just some of the farms you can check out this Sunday, June 10. Entry is free to almost all of them, but charges may apply to some activities.

Holkham Farming Company, nr Wells-Next-The-Sea

Open from 10am to 4pm, entry is free, but there’s a parking charge of £3, redeemable at the gift shop when you spend over £12. The farm is behemoth, growing cereals, oilseed rape, beef and sheep and over 30 types of potato, and the team goes all-out for Open Farm Sunday. There’ll be displays and demonstrations of modern farm machine. Take a tour on a tractor to meet the farm’s animals. And you’ll be able to meet local producers too. There’ll be plenty of activities for children, and 50% off during the day in the fantastic Field to Fork Experience, which has bags of interactive things to get involved with, such as milling flour and learning to steer a tractor!

Coston Hall, nr Norwich

This farm, which produces meat, milk, poultry, cereals, potatoes and oilseed rape, is open from 11am to 4pm and certainly has plenty in the pipeline. The day is set to include a dairy tour, tractor and trailer rides, animal petting, tours of the crops and woodlands and trade stands, plus loads more.

Home Farm, Nacton

If you’ve bought or eaten locally grown organic, Red Tractor or LEAF Marque veg in the east Suffolk area, chances are it may have come from this farm, growing across 1,170 hectares on the Orwell Park Estate just outside of Ipswich. From 11am to 3pm the farm is open for tractor and trailer tours, walking tours and fun for children.

Hamrow Farm, nr Dereham

Growers of lovely juicy blackcurrants and field herbs, this farm is open from 11am to 4pm – and even has wet weather contingency plans! Children can get stuck into the activity sheet and goody bag (and find out more about Ribena). Learn about the journey of barley into beer. Try Gladys the cow’s ice cream, and tuck into a lamb roast roll with homegrown mint sauce.

Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, Creeting St Mary

The family in charge of this farm of cute Guernsey cattle are passionate about everything they do, and produce fabulous fromages you’ll find all over the east of England – from the buttercup-hued Suffolk Gold, to Suffolk Blue. Join them for farm tours, cheese tastings and a hog roast from 10am to 4pm.

Houghton Organic Farm, King’s Lynn

Make friends with the farm’s beautiful Longhorn and Jersey cows and Norfolk Horn sheep. There’ll be tractor and trailer rides, farm machinery to admire and a milking demonstration at 2.30pm.

Hundred River Farm, nr Beccles

Entry is £4 per person (toddlers free) to this dairy, beef and pork farm, and visits here are always very popular so booking in advance (01502 476240) is advisable. You’ll be split into groups to take part in countryside-themed activities such as pond dipping, making campfires, and perfecting your forest skills.

Shotford Hall Farm, Harleston

These growers of cereal, oilseed rape, dairy, beef and sheep open their gates from 11am to 5pm. During the day you’ll have the chance to watch calves being fed, see milking first hand, meet the brewer and baker, see sheep shearing and even cow pregnancy scanning. Children have the chance to win a ride-on pedal tractor in the activity barn, and there are refreshments and a hog roast.

Lindsey Lodge Farm, nr Hadleigh

This fruit and vegetable grower is a key supplier to the East of England Co-op, delivering juicy scarlet strawberries to its stores daily, fresh from the farm. From 11am to 4pm visit the farm to taste the fruits straight off the plant, learn more about their production, and indulge in a cream tea.

Old Hall Farm, Dereham

From 10am to 4pm head to the farm to see their conservation work, birds of prey, machinery and animals. Children will love pond dipping on the estate. And meat-eaters are sure to love the barbecue on the day, grilling up the farm’s own Aberdeen Angus beef and Tamworth X Oxford Sandy and Black pork.

Fenn’s Farm, Combs

Primarily known locally for growing wheat, oilseed rape, peas, beans and barley, during Open Farm Sunday (10am to 4pm) visitors will also be able to find out about the farm’s diversification into wine. A new vineyard has been planted with hopes to produce English sparkling bottles.

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