The sun came out as crowds of families gathered at Foxholes Farm in Hertford last Sunday to celebrate Open Farm Sunday. Award winning owner, Catherine Smith, her team and family worked incredibly hard opening the farm for the general public as a host for this years 10th anniversary of Open Farm Sunday Organisation.
The day started with tractor trailer rides from the farm car park to the farm entrance, escorting adults and children to the main barn where they where greeted by the farms herds of cattle, including adorable Jersey calves, Aberdeen Angus and Simmental breeds. The barn included farm games, guess the weight of the cow and a pop up shop of goodies by volunteers from the Herts Air Ambulance team, who do an incredible job in rescue situations in harsh rural conditions, with all donations from the day going to the charity.
The Hertfordshire young farmers team kindly gave up their hard working day on their own farms to make sure people were safe around machinery, escorting tractor rides and engaging with the public, handing out leaflets and goodie bags with information and knowledge on farm machinery and how our crops are grown and cultivated from farm to fork along with signing up new members.
Fantastic butchery demonstrations by the farms own butchers were being held in the busy farm shop. The butchers demonstrated with great skill how to butcher a lamb and pig, making our food more economical, together with cheese tastings from the farms own stunning delicatessen and local farm produce on sale.
Granny Smiths Tea Shop served up fabulous food using local and regional produce of which all ingredients were available to purchase from the farm shop. Delicious cream teas where available all day which could be enjoyed in the farms own children`s picnic and play area. The farms outdoor kitchen was home to a hog roast and barbecue serving the farms own sausages and burgers.
Local Hertfordshire craft brewery The Three Brewers beer tent had a busy time serving up their popular local craft beers along with local dairy ice cream producers Dawlicious with their ice-cream parlour, perfect for a warm summers day. If glamping is your thing, these luxurious bell tents were on site showcasing the glamour of camping, in another bell tent were excited children’s face painting.
There was so much to see and do with lots of information to hand to make this a special event learning about life on a working farm. The saddleback piglets, free-range chickens, geese, ducks, lambs and sheep were on their best behaviour for the locals to see. The Hertfordshire Rural Police were amazing, showcasing their quad bikes and police buggies allowing children (and adults) on their equipment to play with police sirens and flashing lights, these big boys toys where even more popular with the dads.
Tractor Trailer rides with farm talks were taking people for tours around the farm literally all day, showing the rural life of Hertfordshire and how the farm intends to grow in the next few years whilst letting the public realise how hard farming life can be. It consisted of a 20 minute ride with beautiful lakes, kitchen garden and cattle on show, then back to the farm to see the working gun dogs displays in the field showcasing how these intelligent animals enjoy their work.
By far this was the best year ever, sharing our local rural life and making us think again how hard everybody has to work to create food for our table. Open Farm Sunday is managed by the Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) organisation, but the real hero`s are our local farmers looking after our stunning countryside, with farms such as Foxholes who are a fine example of what Hertfordshire farming has to offer from field to fork!
(Foxholes Farm Shop and tearoom is open 7 days a week! Food for all the family)! www.foxholesfarm.com