News from the Farm Gate by Milly Fyfe

Summer is here! The fields are a hype of activity as farmers across the land mow grass for hay and silage. On the hottest day of the year a team of shearers came to shear all the sheep at the farm - all 300 of them. I’m sure the sheep felt the benefit once the fleeces were removed however I’m not sure the shearers appreciated the back-breaking work in 30 degree heat. 

At this time of year I always appreciate Summer-fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farm garden. I’ve been beavering away for months, fighting back the weeds, to grow everything from potatoes, sweetcorn and asparagus to runner beans. It is really satisfying to prepare and eat produce that I have lovingly tended too. I know that this may be a luxury for many readers who perhaps don’t have the space however you can source fresh fruit, vegetables and meat from many farm shops and independent retailers with low food miles.

I support a number of food and farming campaigns as I feel they are important to get behind in encouraging others to source locally and support local businesses and producers. I was recently elected as the farming ambassador for the Love British Food Fortnight campaign which runs between 19th September and 4th October. More information can be found by visiting www.lovebritishfood.co.uk

The campaign has been successfully engaging with schools, retailers, caterers and consumers with advice and information on the diverse range of produce the British Isles has to offer. And to boot, the campaign has a search for a harvest hero competition with recognition from the Telegraph newspaper, which celebrity Chef Raymond Blanc helps to judge. Anyone with exciting projects and events should get in touch and enter.

R.A.B.I. is in the midst of its own foodie campaign. Each year the charity launches a cream tea campaign, celebrating the very best produce that the farming industry has to offer. Who doesn’t love a cream tea! With jam supporting the fruit sector, cream from the dairy sector and the scones from the cereals sector who wouldn’t resist getting involved and hosting your own event to help raise funds. Fundraising packs are available by visiting www.rabi.org.uk or get in touch with me. My contact details are at the bottom of this page.

Since I wrote my last entry I was saddened to hear of the loss of one of my Leicestershire R.A.B.I. committee members, Mr Simon Packe-Drury-Lowe. For those who knew him well, would know that he was a very influential man within the farming industry in Leicestershire as well as across the country. He was a huge supporter of various local charities including R.A.B.I. and we will all miss him hugely. Simon was always very good at twisting people’s arm to give permission for the charity to have a fundraiser on their farm or at their beautiful country home – he didn’t take no for an answer!

I would therefore like to dedicate this article to Simon, a gentleman who has inspired me in my professional working life and worked tirelessly to raise funds for good causes.

Finally I would like to remind you all that together with Roots Farm Shop, the R.A.B.I. will be hosting an on-farm harvest festival on Sunday 27th September, 3pm in the old parlour at Root Farm Shop, Barkby Thorpe. The service coincides with the annual Roots harvest weekend which I’m sure is set to be another great success with fun for all the family. 

 

To get in touch with Milly Fyfe, Tel: 07525 323450, email: milly.fyfe@rabi.org.uk or follow on twitter @millywastie

The R.A.B.I. confidential helpline number is: 0300 3037373

The next R.A.B.I. event is an on-farm harvest festival at Roots Farm Shop, Barkby Thorpe on Sunday 27th September 2015 at 3pm.

For more information contact Veronica Sutton on: 01455 293452

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