As part of outwork in school learning about healthy eating and growing food, the eco-committee visited Southfields Farm in Coleshill. The day was part of our bid for the Bronze Award of the Food for Life Award that would celebrate all that we do at Michael Drayton to encourage a positive attitude and a healthy outlook on food and its growing and production.
We started the day looking at some of the crops that are grown on the farm….wheat, oats, oil seed rape and we then had the chance to grind some of our own wheat to make flour…
Before long, we were all on a trailer , pulled by the tractor and we were off for a ride to look at the fields and some of the crops!
We visited the farm pond and did a spot of pond dipping and we also searched for bugs under the logs and rocks.We were then shown the farmer’s crop of wheat and we learnt about how it is cared for and how much is needed to make a loaf of bread! It is a lot of work growing these crops!
We learnt all about how a farm can be managed both for profit and for wildlife. Strips of wild flowers can be planted alongside crops to encourage pollinators. At this farm, whole fields are put aside for a wild flower meadow. It was beautiful and the whole area was full of insects. We collected a selection of wild flowers and also swept the area with nets to see what insects we could find.
We visited the oil seed rape crop and learnt about how the tiny seeds are turned into an oil that we use in our cooking. We also saw maize crops and we learnt about how this is used to make animal feed for the winter.
It is not only crops that are grown here. Sheep are bred for meat production. We went into the field to meet the sheep, some of which were really friendly! They are all well looked after and the farmer knows a lot of them by name as they are ewes he has had for many years!
Other animals are kept for what they produce…. eggs! There are lots of hens and we loved getting close to them, feeding and holding them.
There were some other animals that are just kept for fun, including some goats, alpacas, donkeys and some lambs that had been hand reared after their mothers rejected them. We spent a lot of time with these animals and we loved it!
We learnt so much about how a farm runs, how animals can be reared with compassion and care, for meat and how wildlife can be incorporated successfully into a farm environment.
We had a fantastic day and would like to thank everyone at the farm for all their help in making this such a fantastic day!