Molescroft Grange Farm opened its gates first for Open Farm Sunday in 2007, a national event with almost 400 farms opening to the public to show how food is produced in the UK.
Since then the farm has opened annually and Tamara (Farm Manager) is now the regional coordinator helping to train other farmers how to hold successful OFS events. In 2011 she also opened on the previous Friday with 8 schools coming for the day. Last year it was increase to four days and this year they held three days with over 700 school children and their teachers visiting.
The farm does not charge for the day and helps find funding for coach costs. Tickton, St Mary's and Molescroft Primary schools all walked to the farm.
On the day there are eight 20 minute activities for each class. Each is hosted by experts in their field - included pigs, dairy, chicks, wildlife, crops, farm machinery, potatoes with sausages at lunch time cooked by Ladies in Pigs and provided by Cranswick Foods. Over lunch there is also a treasure hunt. All activities are curriculum based and organised by a teacher called Julia Cheetham who helps organise the day.
Feedback was fantastic and we hope to be hosting Open Farm Schools Days again next year. Getting schools to visit is the hardest part so if you know a school who is keen to visit please get in touch!
Since starting OFSD in 2011 this project had now being piloted across the country with 30 other farms holding OFSDs this week. It will hopefully become a national event next year. And it started in Beverley :-)
We won't be opening this year for Open Farm Sunday but check out www.farmsunday.org to find other local farms opening on Sunday. Most days are free.
We did over 50 educational visits last year from various groups ranging from The Grange residential home to Beverley High School with 140 children visiting in one day.
I want the consumer to be an informed consumer - if they want to buy the cheapest food they can find I don't mind as long as they do it with open eyes. As farmers we can't criticise people for not caring what they buy if they don't know about it.