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Farmers open their gates

Mark Sardeson of Manor Farm, Howell, pictured with his Case tractor and sprayer, preparing for Open Farm Sunday. Photo: 0259SB-5

Mark Sardeson of Manor Farm, Howell, pictured with his Case tractor and sprayer, preparing for Open Farm Sunday. Photo: 0259SB-5

HUNDREDS of farmers across the country are opening their gates on Open Farm Sunday on June 17 and inviting people to discover the story behind their food.

This annual event organised by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and local branches of the National Farmers Union, is an ideal way to find out the work farmers do, not only to produce our food but also to look after our countryside.

This year’s local event will be hosted by Sleaford NFU branch chairman, Mark Sardeson, at Manor Farm, Howell, near Heckington.

Mr Sardeson’s farm has been in the family for generations, going back 180 years, and has been farmed for even longer than that. Mainly arable, it does have some livestock.

He said: “In my grandfather’s day we employed 28 men, now with mechanisation I do not employ any.”

The 550 acre farm grows wheat, oilseed rape, sugarbeet and linseed as well as having various areas of grassland for livestock.

The event will be held between 10am and 4pm on June 17 and admission is free, although there will be a collection to raise money for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

Among the activities on offer will be guided tractor and trailer rides around the farm to point out things of interest such as crops and conservation areas.

These include areas of woodland and field boundaries for various species and grazing land for lapwing nesting.

Other attractions will include a sheep shearing display, large modern farm machinery for the boys to marvel at, along with their vintage counterparts from days gone by, plus demonstrations by a local farrier and the chance to see baby piglets and chicks.

There is also a beekeeping display explaining the importance of bees and other insects to farmers for the pollination of crops.

There will be guided farm walks and a display of farm machinery.

And, if you are feeling peckish, there will be a barbecue, as well as the bistro restaurant open for meals and drinks. You can even order a picnic or take your own.

Details call 01205 821610.

 
 
 

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