Down on the farm with WysipigBy Alan Bunce
June 18, 2010
Around 350 people descended on Wysipig at the weekend for a hugely successful open weekend.
Children in particular were fascinated by the work that goes on at the Arborfield pig-rearing farm and by a series of other attractions including a working steam engine, tractor display and hog roast.
The farm runs monthly open days but at the weekend took part in a national initiative to open farms to the public and more visitors than ever trotted along to see the pigs and buy from the farm shop.
Audrey French, who with her husband and family runs the farm, said: “It went incredibly well. We had more visitors than we could possibly have wished for.”
Children learned about the farm’s rare breeds and how the whole food chain works. She said the farm, which shuns interventionist methods of big farms, has converted a number of vegetarians back to meat eaters again because they can see what they are eating.
Mrs French said: “This is what it’s about; contact with people and what they are eating. If you go to a supermarket you are not connecting.”
The pigs have generous room to move, are not routinely given antibiotics and are allowed to live to seven months rather than the usual four on bigger farms.
But one surprise during the weekend was the amount of interest from children in the tractors on display.
Mrs French said: “The great thing we realised is that one thing children want to do is sit on a tractor and the one thing their parents want to do is take pictures of them sitting on the tractor.”