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Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

It’s open farm week 2020 and it’s heading online!

While in previous years Open Farm Sunday has been a huge success, connecting farmers with those from nearby and further afield who just don’t normally have access or a reasons to visit a farm and see where their food comes from. While we would normally be encouraging you to head down to your farm, this year we’re asking you to join us online and here’s how you can do so! It’s the perfect opportunity to see first hand and hear directly from the farmers about what they do, how they do it and how your food comes from field to your plate!

Although we can’t be there in person this Sunday we know engaging with people is a fantastic way to help everyone, not just children, understand where their food comes from. Understanding how food is produced is incredibly important for young people to learn, so important we’ve started a petition which has nearly 8,000 signatures, and we think this is an area which could even be a vocation for the future.

Way back in 2012, we began an initiative to encourage schools to install food gardens in their forest schools area and to show children that it’s good fun to get your hands dirty when it comes to lovely, fresh, home-grown food.

Visit a farm

Visit a farm

We are still trying to help make this a part of the curriculum. While we’ll keep working hard on that here’s more from the Open Farm organisers 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 reiterates just how important days like Open Farm Sunday are, not only for the little ones but also 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 now, 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 from there, supporting brilliant, high quality, British food. It is not just down to those who live in the concrete jungle to make the change, those who inhabit our countryside perhaps take for granted that understanding farming comes naturally.

While we know things will be different this year you can join us from 8am – 8pm, on Sunday 7th June, on social media and meet some fabulous farmers! Follow the hashtag #LOFS20, on Facebook and Twitter for endless farming related fun. There’s a host of farmers lined up to present to you ‘Live’ on Facebook, every hour on the hour from 8am, covering all aspects of the industry, from all corners of Great Britain. Alongside this, we’re asking all farmers across the globe to share stories, images and videos of their farm with the public across social media, using the hashtag #LOFS20, giving you a real insight into all aspects of farming!

Assuming there’s a degree of normality come the end of summer, the physical Open Farm Weekend has been rescheduled to Sunday 20th September!

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.

Find your local farms using this link here.

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