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Open Farm Sunday: Kent events including AC Goatham & Son’s at Upchurch

We’ve probably all bitten into one of AC Goatham & Son’s apples or pears at some time or another.

The fruit picked from its orchards ends up at supermarkets the length and breadth of the country.

In fact, the company grows one in every three British conference pears and one in every four and a half British apples sold in the UK each year.

The Barnyard, Upchurch Picture: Andy Payton
The Barnyard, Upchurch Picture: Andy Payton

But the usual feverish activity will give way to a more laidback Sunday this weekend when AC Goatham farm open to the public for Open Farm Sunday.

At Gore Farm in Upchurch, near Sittingbourne, families can take an orchard walk, explore the nature trails and get up close to farm machinery .

Animals including donkeys, Shetland ponies, alpacas, goats and wildfowl will be delighting the younger visitors, along with fun and games. Visitors can also learn about how the apples and pears are grown.

Carol Ford from AC Goatham & Son said: “It is really important that people feel connected to the farms around them as the local economy directly benefits when they support British farmers.

Open Farm Sunday is this weekend
Open Farm Sunday is this weekend

Many people have never visited a fully working fruit farm such as Gore Farm and we look forward to welcoming them.”

After a stroll through the orchards, there will be food and drink to buy, including a hog roast or Kent produce from the farm shop. There is a gift shop and the Barnyard Restaurant – booking is advised.

Staff from Sainsbury’s, which is supporting the farm, will be on hand to dish up samples and hold a storytelling event.

Give the kids a taste of the country
Give the kids a taste of the country

Open Farm Sunday: Kent events this weekend

Belmont, Throwley, near Faversham: Try a tractor and trailer ride or enjoy a scrumptious Belmont cream tea, 1pm to 4pm. Entry is free Biddenden Vineyard: The vineyard in Gribble Bridge Lane is open on Sunday, June 5. Free entry.

Bore Place, Chiddingstone: Take a family friendly tour at the site in Bore Place Road, Chiddingstone, at 2pm, 3pm or 4pm. Entry is free.

Chegworth Valley, Harrietsham: Free tours of the farm and its 70 lines of organic produce will be on offer between 11am and 3pm. The farm shop will also be open.

Honeychild Manor Farm, Romney Marsh: See cows being milked, meet the animals and play or picnic, before buying some local produce to take home, 2pm to 5pm. Entry is free.

Karoben, Park Farm, Smarden: The farm in Smarden Bell Road is open from 10.30am to 5pm, with an adventure farm trail and crafts, plus tea room to try and animals to meet. Entry £1 and 50p for children.

An alpaca taking it easy at Karoben Farm, Smarden
An alpaca taking it easy at Karoben Farm, Smarden

Park Farm, Westerham: Talk to a local vet, see a milking demonstration at 2pm, and enjoy a barbecue or tea at the farm in Brasted Road. Open between 11am and 4pm, there is a £1 entrance fee, helping raise money for the Hospice in the Weald.

Plurenden Manor Farm, High Halden: The working dairy farm in Plurenden Lane will be open for free from 11am to 5pm.

Romshed Farm, Underriver: The farm will be open from 11am to 4pm, with free entry. There’s children’s activities, wildflower meadows and animals to meet, plus homemade food.

Silcocks Farm, St Michael’s, Tenterden: The farm in Grange Road will be open between 10.30am and 4.30pm, showing displays of cheesemaking, ironwork and butchery. Entry is free.

And on other dates...

Princess Christian’s Farm, Hildenborough: The farm for children and adults with learning disabilities will have sheep, pigs and goats, plants and a shop from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, June 11. Entry is free.

GH Dean, Hempstead Farm, Tonge, near Sittingbourne: Take a tour of the orchards, see the sheep and farming machinery at the farm in Hempstead Lane, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on Friday, July 3. Entry is free.

More details on Open Farm Sunday here

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