Next month sees a celebration of the arrival of Spring on two famous Sussex farms. At Tottingworth Farm, Broad Oak owner Sarah Wareham is giving people the opportunity to feed lambs, meet baby calves, learn how to milk, hunt for Easter eggs and taste local produce at lambing open days on April 5 and 6.
At the same time Horam Manor Farm is staging an open weekend. Events here will include Sussex farm museum talks, vintage engines, willow weaving, stalls, face painting, live music, have a go junior fishing, pony rides and an art exhibition.
At Tottingworth, huge Easter eggs are also being raffled to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Sarah said: “This year we’re expecting 270 ewes to lamb from a variety of different breeds. Our lambing open days are a great opportunity for people to come and learn more about farming and where their food comes from. We’re also really pleased to be raising money for charity this year and are aiming to make the event bigger and better than ever. There will even be a life-sized imitation cow so people can learn how to milk and a bouncy castle.”
There will be food to taste and buy including freshly made cakes and sausages, bacon, beef and pork rolls from the BBQ. The farm shop, which sells a wide range of local produce, will also be open. Entrance fee is £2.50 per person and children under three go free.
The aim of both these weekends is to both entertain and to reconnect people with the land, reminding them that British food is grown and reared with the upmost care and concern for welfare. Tottingworth Farm is a traditional, family-run farm covering 200 acres of permanent pasture and ancient woodland and supports herds of award-winning Limousin, British Blue and Galloway cattle together with a large flock of sheep. It was first bought in 1957 by Dennis and Ruby Browning and today, some 50 years later, it is still in the same family and now run by their granddaughter Sarah helped by her brother Michael.
What makes Tottingworth special is the small abattoir that is in the middle of the farm and is central to the operation. Despite competition from the large multi-nationals the abattoir remains a success and still operates to serve the farming community throughout the South East reducing time and stress of transport. A full butchery operation is now on site which means Tottingworth can supply customers - whether they are farmers selling direct, catering, retail or wholesale customers - with exactly the cuts, packaging and quantities they require.