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June 18, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Open Farm Sunday 2014 photos

2014-06-08, Open Farm Sunday 2014 (14)For the 3rd year running, Apley Farm Shop celebrated Open Farm Sunday again on 8 June.

There was lots of fun, food & farming – something for everyone, whatever their age or background. As well as our own massive farm machinery & brand new combine (last year’s caught fire & had to be replaced), there was once again the fantastic 1875 steam engine called The Chief.  Paul Davies of Redditch, Worcestershire brought a 70 yr old threshing machine which also attracted much attention.

When they fed straw into the threshing machine which had obviously already been through the our modern combine, it still managed to extract some more grains, showing its efficiency.

As I was watching the machine, Ray Nott came to say hello. In Oct 2011, I interviewed him about his time working on the Apley Estate, for my Apley Archive project. His memory is still extraordinarily sharp & he has had 2 CDs made of his memoirs, sold in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

Ray farmed at Astol, by chance just over the fields from the Farm Shop. I introduced him to Paul Davies, so Ray was able to share his first hand experience with Paul. Ray said they produced 10 ton per day of wheat [using the threshing machine] or 8-8.5 ton of oats. He also said that the hessian sacks of grain which came out of the back of the threshing machine were 18 stone each !

2014-06-08, Open Farm Sunday 2014 (3)Proceeds from the welly wanging & guess the weight of the calf competitions went towards our children’s fundraising total, for the RDA – Riding for the Disabled. There was also sheep shearing, a deer stand, bread making, battery-operated pig racing & wood turning, butchery demonstrations, bee keeping, an Apley Walled Garden stand & guided walks with our Farm Manager. We of course also had Scotty’s Animal Park, donkeys, Sunday roast (our own beef & lamb) & Shropshire icecream.

2014-06-08, Open Farm Sunday 2014 (19)The aim of the day was achieved – to better inform the public on food & farming issues. As Adrian Joynt, our Farm Manager said “Farming is increasingly technical & mechanised & Open Farm Sunday provides an opportunity to learn more about where food comes from & how much work goes into creating it.”


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