Having enjoyed a visit to nearby Fallowfields Farm on this ‘open day’ last year – a business mainly specialising in the production of rapeseed and its by-products - we decided to visit another type of farm business in 2013. Only 15 minutes down the road is a company called Bedfordia, not a name I have read or heard about and one which we must have passed by without notice many times but, having now opened their gates to visitors, one which I will certainly now remember in the future.
The Bedfordia group has many diverse operations. It owns and manages 5,500 acres of predominantly arable farmland and it has one of the largest, state-of-the-art, grain stores in the UK. We witnessed a lorry emptying its load of grain at the start of the process at the giant plant which cleans it, sorts it, dries it and grades it before another transport takes it onwards to other forms of production.
Another part of the business consists of several pig breeding units and we saw piglets in various stages of growth and, twinned with this, were displays showing the renewable energy achieved through pig slurry and food chain waste which is now produced by its Biogas plant.
All in all it was a fascinating afternoon and an educational insight into where some of the flour that I use in my baking is sourced and grown in my local countryside. I wonder where Open Farm Sunday will take me next year?