Kiwis Flock To Second National Open Farm Day
An estimated 2,500 Kiwis visited 37 farms this Sunday, part of New Zealand’s second national open farm day initiative, Open Farms.
Farms of all types across the country participated. From sheep & beef stations in the Hawke’s Bay to Canterbury dairy farms, Auckland permaculture growers, mushroom makers and beekeepers to name a few.
“It was great to see farmers designing activities to help Kiwis touch, feel and taste their way back into food and farming” says Open Farms founder Daniel Eb. “We saw vege harvesting, bush tours, petting zoos, working dog demonstrations, conservation walks, soil experiments and lots of good old-school fun.”
While the recent Covid lockdown delay had impacted the number of events, visitor interest and turnout exceeded expectations, with two thirds of events fully booked.
With pack-up underway, hosts Untamed Earth Farm near Christchurch commented that “it was just incredible having hundreds of people on the farm, getting involved and learning what we’re all about!”
Eb says that positive feedback from hosts and visitors shows the project is delivering to its mission of reconnecting Kiwis with our land, food and farmers. “Getting people back out on-farm changes the way they think about their role in the food system. There is no urban-rural divide, there’s just us.”
Open Farms 2021 is backed by three sponsors - Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund.
For more information and to sign up for next year, prospective farmer hosts and visitors can visit www.openfarms.co.nz.