I love the concept of Open Farm Sunday where farms across the country open their doors to the general public for the day giving us the opportunity to learn more about farming in our area. last year my son couldn’t be convinced to visit anywhere I suggested but this year I spotted something that I thought might grab his attention. I was right and we spent time in the sunshine enjoying Open Farm Sunday in Duns Tew last weekend.
My son is nine and a half now and I’m realising that it’s a slightly tricky age. He’ll tell me in one breath that he’s grown out of something and is a ‘big boy’ and then prove to himself and me, that actually I was right all along and it’s more than ok to still like farms and tractors etc.
There’s so much for all of us to learn on an Open Farm Sunday visit, that I wanted to see if I could persuade him to come along this year. Enjoying Open Farm Sunday in Duns Tew would be a little different as it mentioned a solar farm, and I thought that would tie in brilliantly with some school topic work he’s done recently when the school had solar panels installed. He agreed, the sun was shining and off we went to spend a couple of hours outdoors.
We parked up and noticed there were signs for a farm walk which would take under an hour to complete, so we started with that and could see the solar farm in the distance. From what I read about the farm I’d expected that someone would be talking about the solar farm when we got down to that area of the farm, but it wasn’t to be, so we tested my son on what he’d learned from school and Daddy P filled in the gaps. There was a representative back up at the farm buildings who we came across later when was talking about the system, but for families, I think they missed a trick to not actually walk groups around the site. There are 26 acres of solar panels and sheep have recently been brought in to keep the grass down.
As we passed the solar farm we noticed that the farm walk was going to take us away from that part of the property and we’d get to explore the arable crop fields and a woodland area.
Along one field an area had been set aside to grow wildflowers to encourage birds and other minibeasts back onto the farm. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it was a riot of colour.
My son decided that he was going to walk ahead of us, a pre-teen kind of day where walking and talking to his parents just wasn’t the done thing. It’s hard, isn’t it? In one hand it’s lovely to watch him becoming more independent to and happy to walk ahead, on the other, when this happens you miss out on company and conversation. It’s the start of things to come I fear.
As we headed into the woodland my son was still eager to stay well ahead of us in his own little world.
We came out of the woods and the farm walk took us on a loop around the back of the solar farm where we could see a range of young trees that had been planted. We then headed back up the track to the main farm buildings and we could see that the tractor trailer rides had started.
The boy who’d told me earlier in the day that he was too old for tractor trailer rides couldn’t wait to jump on board! He was beside himself with excitement when we had the whole forty-minute ride to ourselves too! You’ll have to take my word for that as it was an ‘I’m not looking at the camera’ kind of day.
We’d expected the ride to just take us around the solar farm, but we went off through crop fields of wheat and barley too, before heading off to get up close to the herd of South Devon cross cattle.
When I asked my so what he’d liked most about our time enjoying Open Farm Sunday in Duns Tew, he told me it was the tractor-trailer ride. It was brilliant apparently. the same tractor-trailer ride that he was ‘too old’ for when I’d first mentioned it. His parting words were Mummy can we come back here next year or go to another farm with tractor-trailer rides, please. The joys of motherhood!
Did you visit anywhere for Open Farm Sunday? If not then it might be worth making a note of the date for next year’s event – Sunday 7th June 2020.