Open Farm Sunday at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On Sunday we headed to Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse as part of Open Farm Sunday which is a nationwide scheme to reconnect communities with farming. I'd not heard of this before but apparently it goes on at this time every year. We didn't really know what to expect so went along with an open mind for a while in the sunshine. Clearly, everyone else had the same idea and the crowds arrived! The open farm entry was free but we paid the special price of £2.50 each for access to the museum and workhouse too (it's usually £11.95 for an adult).
So, the farm animals were a highlight for me.
A couple of Suffolk Punches were put through their paces and that was a wonderful sight.

Watching a couple of collies working to round up sheep was fascinating. They are so focused and obedient whereas the sheep are all over the place! This was great to see, I could have sat there all day.

On such a hot day it seemed to be standard behaviour for animals to snooze.

This lady doing the sheep shearing was amazing. That sheep was enormous and she handled it with such confidence and ease. Some of the positions she maneuvered it into were most unnatural looking but it was almost as though the sheep was hypnotised and didn't protest. The fleece that was shaved off was huge and must have weighed an awful lot - the sheep was probably relieved to be rid of it.


Now, the tractors and machinery was all lined up soon after the entrance and let me tell you there were kids (and big kids) absolutely in their element hanging around here. Not only was there a lot of kit on show, I saw plenty of kids in the cabs pretending to drive and hooting the horns. It was brilliant to see so many people having such a great time! And unlike one tiny little boy kept saying 'tractors are boys toys' I'm sure tractors are for all.


Gressenhall is a museum full of wonderful machinery, displays and information. Actually there was so much that we didn't linger too long on anything and I'd like to go back another time to really take it all in. I ought to mention they also have a cafe on site - even despite the huge volume of people we were served swiftly and got a seat. The adventure playground was huge and we both commented that as kids we would have loved it! I haven't got any pictures but there were some lovely displays and stands from local producers from potatoes to bees wax and honey. Plus I had no idea how many products could be made from goat's milk. C bought some local ale and somehow - somehow(!) we managed to miss the pizza stall. There was a super fancy drone on display which is now used in farming which is incredible. So there really was an awful lot going on.

The workhouse museum was illuminating and a stark reminder of how harsh life used to be. It put a chill up my spine. Yes, I want to return to fully absorb everything.

Gressenhall is a spread out venue with plenty of open space and I very much enjoyed the walk through the meadow and along the river boardwalk.


It was a brilliant time out which of course is ideal for families but really is a fabulous insight into farming for all ages. The whole team had pulled out all the stops to make the day a success and I imagine a LOT of kids fell asleep on the way home!
Sophie

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1 comments

  1. The meadow is more my thing. So is any cider that might have been on sale.

    ReplyDelete

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Sometimes I am sent items to feature as part of a post and these will be clearly mentioned as part of each post.Everything else is bought by myself. Any sponsored or collaboration posts will be clearly marked. Each post is my own content and all opinions are honest.