2,000 enjoy open farm Sunday

M&S Agronomist Andy Mitchell helps Max and Lauren Davies and Nathan Dickson take the strawberry taste test. (Picture Maciej Kordulasinski)
M&S Agronomist Andy Mitchell helps Max and Lauren Davies and Nathan Dickson take the strawberry taste test. (Picture Maciej Kordulasinski)

Locals enjoyed a fun and informative family day out on Sunday June 7 as Castleton Fruit Farm opened its gates as part of Open Farm Sunday.

Ross Mitchell, Managing Director of Castleton Fruit Farm has also made it onto the shortlist of this year’s M&S ‘Farming for the Future’ awards.

Ross Mitchell, from Castleton Fruit Farm , has made it onto the shortlist of this year's M&S 'Farming for the Future' awards.  He will find out if he has been crowned winner on the first day of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on Thursday , June 18. 'Picture Maciej Kordulasinski

Ross Mitchell, from Castleton Fruit Farm , has made it onto the shortlist of this year's M&S 'Farming for the Future' awards. He will find out if he has been crowned winner on the first day of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on Thursday , June 18. 'Picture Maciej Kordulasinski

He will find out if he has been crowned winner on the first day of the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on Thursday , June 18.

Castleton Fruit Farm, which supplies strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries to M&S opened its gates to the public for the day and gave local people the chance to learn more about the inner workings of the farm and how their food gets from field to plate.

The free event was hosted by the farm and saw visitors take part in a range of interactive activities including tractor and trailer rides, tours of the farm, and enjoying a collection of vintage and modern tractors and machinery. There was even a bouncy castle and face painters on hand entertaining youngsters.

Andy Mitchell, Agronomist at M&S, said: “The 10th anniversary of our involvement in the LEAF Open Farm Sunday initiative saw yet another fantastic event take place with over 2000 people visiting Castleton Fruit Farm. The day allowed people to better understand how their food comes from the field and straight into M&S stores across the country. The British farmers that supply M&S really are some of the best, and Open Farm Sunday goes some way to underpinning our passion for British agriculture and sustainable farming.”

The Castleton Fruit Farm has 112 acres of strawberries, and provides M&S with 1.7 million punnets a year. It also supplies the retailer with 300,000 punnets of raspberries, and 800,000 punnets of blueberries.

Ross Mitchell said: “We are delighted that so many people came down to our Open Farm Sunday event and showed such enthusiasm to see what goes on here at Castleton Fruit Farm. It was a fantastic day for all involved and we want to thank everyone who came down to see how the modern-day farm works and to find out more about why the products we supply M&S are some of the best on the High Street.”