Record breaking Open Farm Sunday 2015

Sunday 7th June 2015 saw the 10th anniversary of Open Farm Sunday.

Here at Overbury Farms we are proud to have been a part of it since the beginning.

Sunday was a lovely clear, dry day: perfect for great views from the hill.

The first trailer of visitors set off at 9am, followed by further trailers at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm.

The tour of Overbury Farms started in Overbury village and made its way to Grasshoppers Nursery where Penelope Bossom explained how the farms incorporate education to integrate into village life and the lucky children at the Overbury C of E First School and the Nursery in Overbury are taught from a young age where their food comes from.

Next stop on the tour was Overbury Stallions where Christian and Simon explained what they do and gave a bit of history about the horses they keep.  Visitors were delighted to be introduced to some of the mares and foals.

The tour then continued up the hill and some truly breath taking scenery unfolded.  This led to the arable fields.  Farmer Jake gave a talk about the crop rotations and soil management and explained about the International Year of Soils.

Visitors also learnt about the conservation issues relating to the farm and Farmer Jake explained about beetle banks and habitat management.  In particular how Overbury Farms attract farmland birds such as lapwing, sky larks and yellow hammers.

Overbury Farms grow specific crops to help these farmland birds, these crops include mixes of oats, barley, quinoa, kale and millet.

Chris Steele from Syngenta gave a talk about pollinators and showed visitors a box of bumble bees which they use to start bee colonies in certain areas.  There were about 6 bees in this box that would multiply to a colony of up to 400 bees in the right environment.

 A lot of our wheat is sold to Kellogg’s who turn it into the very popular breakfast cereals.  After a talk from Farmer Jake about how the wheat is grown and harvested, David Wills from Kellogg’s spoke to visitors about the process of turning the wheat into their breakfast cereals.

DID YOU KNOW? Each 1m2 of wheat will produce 26 boxes of Special K!

Kellogg’s are currently promoting their ‘Grow with Kellogg’s’ campaign and packs were given to visitors to take away and grow their seeds.

Overbury Farms is also a sheep farm with 800 sheep.  Farmer Jake explained how the sheep system works, lambing indoors due to all the public access on the farm.  Jake also told visitors how the ewes and lambs graze grass through the spring and summer before grazing turnips and cover crops on the arable fields in the winter months. When the lambs are at the correct weight they are sold to Sainsbury’s.

Nationally, Open Farm Sunday enjoyed record breaking attendance of over 250,000 visitors to the participating farms.

We have had some lovely feedback from visitors since Sunday.  Here’s what people  have said:

“From the nursery and the school, the stud with the delightful mares and foals prancing in the field, on to the crop rotations and beetle strips, the bees, the hidden businesses tucked away around the hill, food production and the sheep, it was a very enlightening tour. “

“Please pass on our admiration and thanks to everyone that gave their time and shared their passion for farming and caring for the environment. Congratulations too on your tenth ‘Open Farm Sunday.’ “

“Just to say thank you for a brilliant and informative tractor ride.”

Overbury Farms thanks everyone who made the effort to attend this event and made it a huge success.  We look forward to seeing you all again!