Every year on Open Farm Sunday, farmers across the UK open their gates and welcome people to come and see how their food is produced. This year our Oaklands Park community, which has a farm, garden and orchard, joined in for the first time.
‘We wanted to give more people a chance to see the way we farm organically here, especially as we use the biodynamic system which is less well-known’, explains organiser Clare.
‘At first we envisaged it as a small thing, but then thought it would be great to link it to the Camphill Village Trust’s 60th anniversary and organise it so people from across our Gloucestershire communities could be involved.’
There were nail-biting times in the run-up, with so much to plan. How much field should be cut for car parking? What would happen if it poured on the day?
A perfect day
But worries were unfounded, as what an absolutely beautiful day it turned out to be. The sun smiled on some 400 visitors who came to join the farm and garden tours, watch demonstrations, enjoy ‘have a go’ activities, and play games. ‘Just to see it all come together was wonderful’, says Clare.
There were crafts to buy, including beautiful items from the Oaklands Weavery and Grange community Pottery. The Wood Workshop team set up their stall in the field with the bouncy castle and played duck races with the children, using handcrafted ducks.
Of course people were also keen to sample some gorgeous farm-fresh food. ‘The queues were incredible, but everyone was patient’, says Clare.
And luckily, there was lots of it – including a barbecue selling Oaklands- produced meat, vegetarian pizzas made in a clay oven built by the community, and refreshments catered by the community’s George Café team.
The day finished with live music by up-and-coming band Ushti Baba, and people sitting on hay bales in the sunshine enjoying the music with a glass of local cider.
Oaklands resident Charmian, who helped run the Weavery stall on the day, summed it up by saying: ‘It was a sunny day – and everyone came.’ Clare (left) and her team worked hard to make the day a success. ￼￼￼