Want to know more about where your food comes from?
Then next month sees the perfect opportunity to do just that as farms across West Sussex throw open their doors – and fields.
On Sunday, June 7, hundreds of farms across the country will celebrate the tenth Open Farm Sunday which is a national annual event run by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming).
A free fun day out for the whole family where you have the chance to meet the animals and learn how they are cared for, Open Farm Sunday also helps you find out more about where your food comes from and gives you a chance to show your support for British farmers.
Some farms are hosting special tours and tractor and trailer rides while others have displays and farm shops
Chris and Caroline Spiby are among those taking part when they open Marsh Farm Dairy in Sidlesham where they produce the milk for Marks & Spencer, with their dairy herd grazing on the water meadows that form part of the RSPB Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve. The milk is also used to make Caroline’s Dairy luxury ice cream which is made at Chalder Farm.
This is the third year Marsh and Chalder Farm will open their gates to the public for Open Farm Sunday after attracting a record number of more
than 1,500 visitors in 2014.
This year the Spibys are hoping to welcome even more people through the gate to an even bigger event, with lots of informative
and fun activities for all ages to enjoy.
“With over 550 cows, Chris produces more than five million litres of milk a year, most of which is supplied to Marks & Spencer,” said a spokeswoman for the farm
“You will have the chance to meet Chris, Caroline and their team to find out for yourself how their milk is produced and what it takes to look after the countryside.
“There will be a host of activities running throughout the day, including tours of the dairy, a chance to meet the farm vets, watch the cows being milked, activities with Manhood Wildlife Project and the opportunity to see lots of the farm animals.
“You will also be able to see Caroline’s Dairy ice cream being made in the parlour and there will be cookery demonstrations by Rosemary Moon on making your own sauces for ice cream.
“Caroline’s Dairy ice cream will be served all day as well as a barbecue supplied by Nik Westicott of The Old Greenhouse, Fishbourne. Marks & Spencer have kindly donated scones for the cream teas and drinks which will also be available throughout the day.
“A percentage of all proceeds made on the day will go to a local charity.”
For further information on Open Farm Sunday, including more ways to celebrate British farming and food plus facts, figures and recipes, visit www.farmsunday.org.
Open Farm Sunday
n Marsh Farm & Chalder Farm, Sidlesham, PO20 7RN
Highlights: Hosted farm tour, meet the animals and static machinery display. Food is available 01243 641001, www.carolinesdairy.co.uk, 11am to 4pm
n Hall Hunter Partnership – Groves Farm, Colworth, PO20 2DX
Highlights: Hosted farm tour and tractor and trailer rides 01243 788478, www.hallhunter.co.uk, 10am to 2pm
n CE Holt & Partners, Droke Farm, East Dean,PO18 0JQ
Highlights: Hosted farm tour, meet the animals and a static machinery display 01243 811976, 2pm-6pm
n Courthill Farm, Northwood Cottage, Slindon BN18 0RL
Highlights: Hosted farm tour. 01243 814753, www.courthill- farm.co.uk, 10.30am-12.30pm
n Southview Farm Dairy, Bury, RH20 1NP
Highlights: Hosted farm tour, meet the animals, tractor and trailer rides, farm shop and static machinery display. Disabled facilities . 01798 831261, www.southviewfarmdairy.co.uk, 10am to 4pm
n Knepp Castle Home Farm, New Barn Farm,Dial Post, RH13 8NN
Highlights: Hosted farm tour, meet the animals, tractor and trailer rides and a farm shop. 01403 741235, www.knepp.co.uk, Tour starts at 10am and finishes at midday.