Sometimes I’m in awe of how fast time flies by and also how hard it can be to write a blog post. Life and more to the point life with kids can get in the way of many best laid plans. I’m not grumbling really but I can’t believe it’s taken me 3 weeks to write this post and link it to Coombe Mill’s Country Kids. And although 3 weeks have passed, I really want to share it with you because we had such a lovely day out as a family. We even got to go to the beach afterwards too ! It was one of those rare sunny days we aren't getting much of these days.
So what did we do? Well, every year the farming industry have an open day called, Open Farm Sunday. This is a day when hundreds of farms, all over the country open their gates to showcase what they do to produce our food and care for our countryside. You get the chance to find out how your food gets from the field to your plate, to know the farmers who grow it and how they look after the environment and wildlife living there.
We've been to our local Open Farm Sunday before when Belle was a bit younger and she loved it. This year as Tink is 2½ her interest in animals and this type of thing is at its height so we made use of this and popped down to our local farm to share in the fun. We are lucky that our local farm has a fabulous farm shop. We shop there regularly and the girls love choosing fruit and veggies, learning what everything is and being a part of the process. I really believe it engages their interest in food; they start to make that connection between choosing the food to then cooking and eating it. The girls love to be involved in baking and cooking where possible and I notice that they are less fussy about eating certain things IF they've been involved in the whole process. I suppose it’s all about giving them choice and making them feel that their input is as important as our own.
The first thing we watched were some of the sheep being sheared. It really is quite a skill and although I’m sure the sheep aren't all that enthralled by the experience, they must feel so much cooler afterwards. Although I do know that baby/toddler sleep bags and duvets made from wool are supposed to be great a regulating the body’s temperature so perhaps one could argue that they could quite happily keep their coats after all.
Both the girls thoroughly enjoyed watching the sheep shearing. I did feel for one poor sheep who had his skin nicked ! Ouch ! It’s like cutting yourself whilst shaving but someone else doing it. Not fun. Poor little love took it very well under the circumstances. I’m sure a soothing, healing balm was applied later on – I hope so anyway.
We then moved on to look at the piggies, chicks, and made our way to the poly tunnels to look at all the veggies, and salad based items growing away. The girls thought this would be a great time to break away and run amok, little tinkers ! There’s seems to be something quite appealing about running in and out of other people’s veggies. Fun was definitely had until Mummy asked them nicely to stop terrorising the plants and to check out something else. You always fear that they’ll end up falling on the lovely uniform rows of produce and you’ll get chucked out for bad behaviour. I’m pleased to report that all was fine and we herded them out and across to the play area to let off some kiddie fuelled steam.
Since our last visit the play area has been added to and the girls loved playing on the swings, slide and train. It was busy but not overwhelming. The girls managed to play on what they wanted to before the tractor and trailer arrived to take visitors around the whole farm.
Daddy joined the girls on the trailer and afterwards he said how much more he’d learnt about how they farm everything and the ethics behind what they do. As a farm they went up in our estimation further. We now know that the meat is from grass fed animals, and that the whole farm’s water is supplied from a natural spring. They try to be as self sufficient as possible.
We were lucky enough to have my aunt with us for the weekend, so whilst the girls and Daddy had their ride on the tractor, my aunt and I were able to chat over a cuppa and some cake. Bliss ! I make the most of those moments now. They are few and far between.
After all our excitement on the farm, we decided after lunch to head out to our local beach for a stroll and an ice cream. The weather was fabulous so we sat on the beach, collected stones and shells, watched the girls paddle in the chilly sea and made friends with the many doggies we met along the way too. The girls would so love a dog of their own. Maybe one day. Once we’d revived ourselves with the wonderful sea air, we headed to the beach cafe for a well deserved ice cream. It truly was a fabulous family day out together made all the more special by the beautiful sunshine. Let’s hope that sun keeps making appearances especially as we head towards the summer holidays. Kids outdoors = happy kids. Wouldn't you agree?
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