Open farm Sunday
Sunday 5th June is national farm Sunday, a day once a year when working farms open there gates to the general public to have a look around. This would be Mimi’s first time at a farm and we choose to visit Cockhaise, an organic dairy farm in Haywards Heath.
When we first arrived we pulled in and parked in a field next to the cows, and Mimi couldn’t hide her excitement, getting her in to her pushchair wasn’t unlike what i imagine trying to get a baby octopus into a babygro would be like!
Although Cockhaise is a dairy farm there where plenty of other animals to see, on getting into the farm yard there was a sheep shearing demo in progress, which i have to say is something I’ve never seen before other than on the telly, and it looked like quiet the workout because despite the heat, like most small children, sheep don’t like getting haircuts!
Next we went in to a barn, there was a cute calf called Oreo some Guinea Pigs, lots of different breeds of chickens, a cockerel and a duck! The Guinea pigs were so cute, but I’m a bit of a fan of them anyway, and Mimi loved giving them a stroke she enjoyed looking at Oreo the calf and the chickens but thought it was the funniest thing when when the cockerel started crowing.
We had a look in the milking barn and also saw the milk storage tanks we then all gave our hands a good wash before heading over to the ‘sampling barn’. Cockhaise is part of the Arla co-op of farmers so in the sampling barn we got to try Skyr yogurt – which can I just say was really really good, lactose free cheeses which to be honest tasted just like a mild cheddar skimmed milk and B.O.B milk we also got given bottles of skimmed, B.O.B milk and the kids got goodie bags too.
Now I’m a bit of a fan of buying local where ever possible, supporting local businesses and local produce and there was some good quality local produce fudge, ice cream, cheese and beer – what more could you want? I tried all the cheeses and also treated myself to a piece of Brighton blue cheese, I had a little nip of the artisan beers and the fudge well what can I say about the fudge man? Other than what was purchased never made it home! Mmmmmmmmmm om nom nom, talking of om nom nom did I tell you about the BBQ? That was really good too!
There were also farm walks and tractor rides but Mimi was starting to get tired and ratty so we didn’t get to do them or to see the cows being milked but next year she’ll be that bit older, so it’s something to look forward too!
There was so much to do it really was great fun there was a real feeling of community with other farms and groups coming together to make the day a success, everyone was so friendly and passionate about farming and the animals they keep, the sheep where from Brickpits organic farm, the poultry was from Ashdown forest poultry club, the cheese was from High Weald Dairy (www.highwealddairy.co.uk) and the High Weald Artisan brewery (www.highwealdbrewery.co.uk) all helping to raise awareness of the amazing work our farmer do and also helping raise money for Chailey Heritage Foundation towards the set up of a new care farm at the school, and it was all of them in partnership that made the day an amazing day out oh and did I mention we got in for free?! it’s definitely something we will be looking forward to doing again next year and I would recommend, wherever you are in the UK, popping along to your local open farm next year
For more information on Open Farm Sunday please visit the website http://farmsunday.org