Open Farm Sunday lessons in homegrown food

Farms across the region are to open their gates to visitors on Sunday.
Farms across the region are to open their gates to visitors on Sunday.
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ONE IN three adults does not know that apples or potatoes are grown in Britain, according to the findings of a new survey.

In a bid to highlight just how disconnected with the land British people have become, shoppers were asked about a whole range of foods.

Despite British farmers producing 60 per cent of the food eaten in this country, many consumers are unsure of what is grown here.

More than four in ten (42 per cent) claimed oats were not grown here; only one in 10 (nine per cent) were aware that cherries are grown in Britain when in fact they were introduced to farmers by Henry VIII; and four in ten consumers (41 per cent) do not realise broccoli is grown on British farmland.

The survey was commissioned by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) to coincide with this weekend’s Open Farm Sunday which each year sees farmers open the gates of their farms to the public.

Nearly 400 farms will be welcoming visitors tomorrow to celebrate British farming and food.

Annabel Shackleton, LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday manager, said: “British farming is a diverse and innovative industry with new crops being introduced each year, so it is understandable consumers don’t realise everything our farmers grow.

“What is alarming though is the number of adults who don’t even realise that they are eating British produce when they’re tucking into their morning bowl of porridge or their Sunday roast.

“The agricultural industry is worth billions to the British economy, so it is important that we know what home grown produce to look out for when we go shopping.

“Talking to a farmer is a great way to discover more about how your food is produced, so we’d encourage as many people as possible to visit their local farm on 7 June for Open Farm Sunday.”

More than 1.25 million people have attended an Open Farm Sunday event since it was launched in 2006.

Among the events in Yorkshire tomorrow is an open day at The Hayshed Experience in Commondale, Whitby. Members of the public are welcome to visit between 11am and 3pm to see how the farm works, to meet its animals and try homemade food.

Elsewhere, at Foston on the Wolds near Driffield, an open day is being held at Carr House Farm, 10am-3pm. Highlights include an elderflower festival, bushcraft demonstrations, a flock of Teeswater sheep, a farm trail and fresh food from Side Oven Bakery.

For more details of all participating farms, visit www.openfarmsunday.org