Visitors Turn Out For Farm Open Day

farm open day 2014The organisers of yesterday’s Open Farm Day at Pelistry think it was more successful than last year’s inaugural event, when 250 people attended.

The Isles of Scilly Farmers’ and Growers’ Initiative arranged the day as the islands’ response to the national celebration of British food.

Locals and visitors were able to buy local produce, watch cattle hoof trimming, go on tractor rides and tour the flower and cattle farm.

Gordon Bird was pleased with the interest shown. He says the day gave young people a chance to see where their food comes from and the processes involved in running a farm.

And he says attitudes have changed over the years, with a trend towards buying more local produce. Gordon says even three years ago, he was having to plough vegetables back in to the fields because he couldn’t sell them.

Farmer Mervyn Bird said he was happy that some visitors had been able to make the connection between his farm and the flowers they’d bought in mainland supermarkets.

And he enjoyed showing people his farm for a second year, but he says he might give someone else the chance to host the event if it happens again in 2015.

Kylie Carter from the Farmers’ and Growers’ Initiative says the food displays and stalls worked well and there was a lot of interest in the cattle, particularly the display of foot trimming. Kylie lives and works on Sallakee Farm on St Mary’s and says she was keen to pass on her experiences to the visitors.

Jess Vian who manages the Initiative says making the link between farm produce and the consumers’ plate is important.

In January, the group received funding from Defra to continue its work for another 12 months.

Jess says she’s not sure what will happen when that funding runs out, but is hopeful the initiative can continue in some form, because so many people are benefiting from their work.