Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Open Farm Sunday at Goodwood Home Farm, Sussex

Open Farm Sunday takes place every year, a fantastic project which sees farms across the country opening their doors, usually for free, to visitors that want to learn more about farming. It's a chance to find out more about where your food comes from, and there are usually plenty of extra activities and events taking place based around the individual farm.

This year, for the first time, we decided to visit Goodwood Home Farm, the largest lowland organic farm in the UK, situated in the Goodwood Estate, West Sussex. The farm shop, selling dairy, ales and meat products, is open most days, but Open Farm Sunday was a chance to see a bit more of the farm and learn about the way that these products are made.

Open Farm Sunday at Goodwood Home Farm, Sussex

We had a wonderful time at the farm, and we were so impressed by how much effort had gone into organising the day. We arrived at noon as the farm opened and headed straight for the tractor ride, knowing that it would be popular. We were driven a short distance across a field and started our tour of the farm at the dairy. Goodwood Home Farm dairy produces milk, cream and cheese, all made right there on the farm. We sampled some of the milk and cheese, which was delicious, and then the children helped to make butter which we ate on crackers, it was fantastic for them to learn a little bit about where these things come from.

Open Farm Sunday at Goodwood Home Farm, Sussex

In a small copse nearby there were some forest school type activities set up. We toasted marshmallows on a campfire, and I allowed Harry to lead me around a blindfold rope course. Fortunately I was sensible enough not to trust him completely and made sure that I was peeking a little bit, otherwise I would have been steered into numerous trees and brambles! Mia made a nature crown and Harry hunted for bugs with an insect jar. All the staff were so friendly and welcoming, and the children had a great time.

Open Farm Sunday at Goodwood Home Farm, Sussex

We took the tractor back to the main farm, and arrived just in time to watch a sheep shearing demonstration, followed by a visit to a barn where ladies were spinning sheep's wool into yarn and weaving. We finished at the crops exhibit, where the children were able to grind their own wheat grains into flour to take home.

All such simple activities and yet really enjoyable, and not just for young children. We all learned a lot, and the day was organised so well, we got such a lot from it. I'd definitely recommend keeping an eye out next year for a farm close by to visit!

You can find out more about Open Farm Sunday here, it's already in the calendar for next year!

Did you visit a farm this year?

8 comments:

  1. We love spending time at our local farm. Amy loves exploring every little corner of it x

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  2. I miss our local farm in London so much! Going to a farm is so much fun for the kids!

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  3. Oooh, we love the farm and this looks great.

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  4. I've not heard of Open Farm Sunday, but it sounds like a fabulous idea. Looks like a great day.

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  5. We must do something like this in the summer holidays, sounds so fab!

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  6. Love this idea and my twins adore a farm visit

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