Gressenhall Farm diary: How you can still participate in Open Farm Sunday
PUBLISHED: 10:06 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:06 06 June 2020
As part of a weekly diary, curator EMILY PARKER from Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse talks about what would have been in store for this years Open Farm Sunday.
It has been another glorious week on Gressenhall farm: suntan lotion has made an appearance, the field borders are filled with colour and there is a joyful sound of birds ‘tweeting’.
The Lincoln Longwool lambs have certainly been enjoying the grass as they have nearly doubled in size, the large black pigs have been enjoying cooling off in their water trough and our herd of cows have been relaxing in the woodland shade.
Warm weather is a pleasure for most, though for farmers and their arable crops, a lack of rainfall can cause significant problems. Fingers crossed, we will be greeted with rain soon!
In a normal event year this would have been a busy week for the Gressenhall team - with preparations for the annual event ‘Open Farm Sunday’.
Organised by LEAF this initiative is the farming industry’s national open day, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to see what happens beyond the farm gate.
Last year we were delighted to welcome over 3,000 visitors to the site who were able to take part in a whole host of activities. This included getting up close with farm animals, cart rides, sheep shearing demonstrations and farm vehicle displays.
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Preparations for this event start in the spring, where small patches of wheat, oats, malted barley and potatoes are planted in the Gressenhall fields. On the day, numerous demonstrations and displays take place where visitors can learn how their food makes its way from ‘field to fork’.
Wheat becomes a perfect backdrop for bread making, visitors learn how malted barley is a key component in beer production and that our oats will make their way into animal feed.
Visitors could finish off their day by picking potatoes (this year’s varieties would have been Bergerac and Monte Carlo) to take home.
In August, our cereal crops are harvested. As only small quantities of barley and wheat are grown, the harvested crop is kept aside for threshing displays at our ‘Apple Day’ event in October.
Threshing is a traditional farming activity where seed or grain is separated from the chaff and straw of a crop and this is a great sight for our visitors where a team carry out this activity with aid from a steam engine.
For those of you who are missing visiting the farm, this week we have uploaded a virtual horse and cart ride on our Twitter and Facebook page /GressenhallFW.
So, jump on board and settle down, our Suffolk Punch horses, Reggie and Remus, are ready and waiting…
To find out more about LEAF Open Farm Sunday, please visit www.farmsunday.org.
Please note, Open Farm Sunday, scheduled for 7 June, 2020, has been cancelled.