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Open farm Sunday: Week 23 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

We hope you find a farm to visit this Sunday 10th June and a chance speak to the farmers about what they do. Open farm Sunday is a fantastic way to help anyone, not just children, understand where their food comes from. Understanding how food is produced is incredibly important for young people to learn and could even be a vocation for the future.

In 2012 BigBarn started an initiative to get schools to have food gardens and encourage kids to get their hands dirty in a bid to help educate them about where their food comes from. We are still trying to help make this a part of the curriculum so please register for our our newsletter to be kept up to date.

Visit a farm

Visit a farm

Here is more about Open Farm Sunday from the organiser LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)
“Hearing a real cow moo or a sheep baa for the first time is a special moment but a new survey of primary school children has revealed that this experience is becoming increasingly rare. The results show that more than 1 in 3 children have never heard a sheep baa (37 per cent) or a cow moo (34%) up close, with thousands only experiencing it through their TV or computer screens.

We ran a survey that revealed the disconnect many children have with farming and where their food comes from. One in four children (24 per cent) surveyed did not know a baby cow was called a calf, with similar numbers unaware a baby sheep was a lamb (23 per cent), a baby chicken was a chick (26 per cent) and a baby pig a piglet (22 per cent). Four in 10 (37 per cent) children did not know that herd is the name for a group of cows and half (47 per cent) don’t know that flock is the collective noun for sheep. Only one in six (16 per cent) knew that numerous chickens together were known as a brood. This weekend hundreds of farms will be opening their gates to visitors of all ages so that they can see farming at first hand and learn a little more about the basics.”

Artisan cheese at your local Farm Shop

Artisan cheese at your local Farm Shop

This survey proves just how important days like Open Farm Sunday are and not just for the children but for the future of British farming. It is hard to believe that education on food has gone unattended for so long and it is not just the children who are misinformed it is teachers and parents alike. This is a great opportunity for farmers to open their doors and help get people understanding what they do and supporting British food. It is not just down to those who live in the concrete jungle to make the change, country people perhaps take for granted that understanding farming comes so naturally to them might not be so obvious to others.

Open Farm Sunday was first introduced in the UK in 2006 by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming). The first year was intended to be a pilot run of the project, but interest was high and over 300 farms opened their gates to the public. Ever since farmers have taken it up and made it their own and following the seventh Open Farm Sunday in June 2012, nearly one million people have visited a farm.

As BigBarn’s mission is to reconnect consumers with producers and encourage trade we fully support Open Farm Sunday. We hope that those farmers selling direct and use the day to persuade local people to switch from the supermarket to buying local.

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