Polly Davies and her family manage Slade Farm a mixed organic tenant farm near Bridgend in Glamorgan, South Wales. The farm has a small butchery and meat box delivery business, which supplies the local community with beef, lamb, pork and Mutton. Here she talks about helping people become ambassadors for locally produced food through Open Farm Sunday.
We have been opening the farm for Open Farm Sunday for about ten years. We get around 1000 people coming from right across South Wales. Opening the farm has made me realise that not many people know what farmers do or where their food comes from. I think this year, with Brexit and the salad shortages, it is more important than ever to engage the general public in food and farming.
I really believe that giving people an insight into what we do and raising their awareness of the benefits of eating locally and seasonally, will help them become ambassadors for Welsh farming and food. LEAF and the Open Farm Sunday team make opening much less daunting. The Host Farmer Handbook, particularly the Risk Assessments included within it, take you through the potential Health and Safety issues in a very accessible way.
We are a working farm not a farm park so for a week before Open Farm Sunday, we focus on tidying up the farm to make it really visitor friendly! We pull in help from our local Scouts and Adventure Scouts groups, which is a great resource to draw on. They also do a fantastic job supporting us with car parking and entertaining our visitors with additional activities. I also rope in all our friends and family, as you cannot have too many volunteers!