There are 3 main types of farming – pastoral, arable and mixed. Pastoral is the rearing of animals for products such as dairy, eggs, wool or meat. Arable is the production of crops which can be used or sold by the farmer depending on their needs. Mixed is when a farm carries out both these methods. With all these varieties of farming types on offer, staying on one of our farms provides wonderful opportunities to encounter and learn about farming and agriculture and its importance to us all.
When spotting animals on a farm the first thing that springs to mind is the ones that we work with – be it cows, sheep or the faithful sheepdog these animals are a joy to watch, but the spotting needn’t stop there. Farmers are dedicated to the biodiversity of their land, encouraging birds, insects and bugs onto it by growing hedgerows, cultivating field margins and selecting plants that provide a haven for these smaller animals. Stopping by these areas on a farm and taking the time to see what animals are busying themselves in these sanctuaries is always worthwhile. Not only is there so much wildlife to spot but watching what this wildlife is occupying itself with only adds to the wonder.
Climate is a buzz word at the moment and one that is often associated with farming. A great deal of work on farms goes into using farming methods that benefit our planet. Opening young eyes to these important issues is essential in our fight against climate change. Be it the carbon cycle, flooding risks or biodiversity conservation, farms across Britain are taking so much into account in all areas of their work to ensure that their farming methods benefit our climate and this is something we feel everyone should get the chance to see first-hand.
We are all taught about the nutrition of food but the consideration of where our food comes from is also vital. The understanding that all our food needs to be grown or reared helps us make thoughtful choices in how and where our food is sourced. Bringing food from the farm to someone’s plate and helping that person understand the relationship between the food we eat and the countryside we cherish is something we are passionate about.
Empathy is the perfect tool when it comes to creating connections with nature. Knowing the requirements of the animals and plants on a farm helps gain an understanding of how to nurture them properly and the difference keeping in mind their needs can make. Exploring the farm through the lens of others helps us understand what that being needs from us and we can learn how to respond with care and consideration.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
The STEM subject (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are ones deeply embedded in farming. Whether it is machinery and equipment use, animal breeding and care, or simply the magic or seeing how things grow – all offer skills that ignite learning in these educational areas. Farming gets to be enjoyed in a way that is not only captivating but informative too as seeing these subjects in action helps us learn in a hands on way like nothing else.