One thing that we have really noticed since moving to Dorset is that during the summer months, there literally isn’t a weekend that goes by without something exciting going on! Recently there has been the Kite Festival in Weymouth, the Wheels Festival in Bournemouth and Fish and Ships on Portland to name but a few.
This weekend, some friends told us about Open Farm Sunday which was something we meant to go to last year but didn’t have time!
Open Farm Sunday is a national event where real working farms open their doors to the public to allow them to see how food is produced and how farming affects our lives. Each farm offers different activities and experiences including tractor rides, machinery demonstrations and milking displays.
We had the choice of three different farms within a 30 minute drive from us but decided to go to Field Barn Farm in Blandford.
On entry there was a stall handing out stickers, pens, pencils, activity books and information leaflets which the children got really excited about. Even better was that the goodies were all free!
We then walked round to the cow shed where we had the opportunity to see some calves who were less than a week old as well their mums! They were really tame and even allowed the children to hand feed them!
After much hand washing, we took a wander round the field where the farm had collated a selection of farm machinery. Having never been particularly up close to a combine harvester (!), we were all surprised by how huge the vehicles were. Most of the wheels were bigger than the adults and it was really nice that the children were able to climb up on them and pose for photos.
We then walked past a wood carving display (which was rather loud!) before having a play on the hay bales that were dotted around the field. The children were also very interested in the Dorset Wildlife Stand where they were given a very thorough talk from a lovely lady!
For lunch, we were spoilt for choice. Hog roast, hot dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, cream teas and an enormous selection of homemade fairy cakes were all on offer at very reasonable prices. After eating, the children had a flick through their activity book and also found some colouring tables that had been set up.
The sun was really beating down by this time and we decided that we all needed ice creams. We walked down to the other field where the ice cream van was parked up. In this area was also a bouncy castle which we fully expected to have to pay to use but again, it was free of charge! After a quick bounce, we went over to the Jordan’s Farm Camp where they had set up a huge bell tent containing animal books and face masks for the children to decorate and colour. TJ went for a rather psychedelic sheep!
Finally, we saw the day old lambs and had a quick go in the police buggy before heading home.
We had an absolutely fantastic time at Open Farm Sunday and cannot wait to do it again next year.