Farms are making their final preparations ahead of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2018.
Running on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, the popular initiative gives consumers and their families the opportunity to visit farms across Northern Ireland, for free.
In Banbridge, Churchview Farm, run by star of the recent UTV Rare Breed series Geoffrey Ringland, is taking part for the first time. The goat farm is based at 17 Kilkinamurray Road, Ballyward, Co Down, and will be open on June 16 from 11am to 6pm. Visitors will be able to meet the goats and view a display of tractors, machinery and lorries. There will also be special activities for children.
Bullsbrook Farm, run by Roy McMurray, will be open on June 16 from 10am to 5pm and June 17 from 2pm to 5pm, at 26 Black Bog Road, Dromore. The farm has an agricultural mini museum featuring old horse and farming implements. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic along and there will be bread making on an open fire in one of the restored farm buildings in the yard. The River Lagan runs through the farm and provides habitat for various wildlife and birds.
Blackberry Hill Farm is run by Harry McGaffin and is based on the Ballymacallen Road, Gilford, and will be open on June 16 and 17 from 11am to 5pm daily. The farm has European Angus cattle and visitors will get the chance to see other animals including baby chicks and sheep. There will be a cookery demonstration by the Livestock and Meat Commission running both days. There will also be pony rides.
Families can plan journeys to all 14 participating NI farms on the website which lists the various opening times and activities which are unique to each farm. Visitors are advised to wear sensible footwear and are welcome whatever the weather as the farms will be open come rain or shine. On each farm, there will be the opportunity to enter a free draw to win a food hamper filled with lots of local food produce, kindly provided by the Ulster Farmers’ Union.
For more information, visit the new website www.openfarmweekend.com, follow on Twitter @BOIopenfarm and like Open Farm Weekend on Facebook. Visitors are encouraged to share their pictures on farms using the hashtag #boiofw18.