Elm View, 1 Bishops Road, Cleeve, Bristol, BS49 4NQ

Countryside Day at the North Somerset Showground

The North Somerset Agricultural Society holds this exciting event for schoolchildren to witness a wide variety of farming and countryside activities.

This year there was silage/ haymaking and baling, harvesting cereal crops with a modern combine and also thrashing the corn the old fashioned way, ploughing and cultivating, pigs and piglets, sheep and lambs and a sheep shearing demonstration. There was a demonstration of country crafts and butter and bread making and lots more. 

There were 85 coaches of primary school children arrived throughout the morning, which made a grand total of 2200 walking around the site enjoying all the demonstrations. Each group had a ‘tour’ guide to escort them on a pre-planned route.

I was asked to do a butchery demonstration in the pork section with a fresh pork carcase and a sausage machine.

When the children got to my section of the show, I asked them to ask as many questions as possible so they got the most out of the day. I had a shop display fridge to keep everything cool and I showed them the pork cuts in turn and discussed with them what products you could make from each cut. Many were simply amazed that you literally can eat the whole pig, except the bones of course which go to make biofuel through anaerobic digestion and then fertiliser. Finally, I showed them how to make sausages and all the ingredients that go into making them. This was very interactive getting the kids to shout out the different varieties of sausages they had tried. 

We only had 10mins with each group so things were moving at a very fast pace, and in four hours I had 22 double groups of kids’ non-stop. At the end, I was buzzing from all the questions and discussions and completely exhausted at the same time.

There were some very good questions from children and teachers alike, the sort of questions that stemmed from misconception’s in the food industry and the genuine desire to learn from the day. Questions like; 

How old was the pig? Is it real? Can you eat the teeth? After saying you can eat the whole pig! Is it true you only kill young and healthy animals for food? Yes, there is a vet and a meat inspector at the abattoir.

How do you kill them? Electric shock to the brain followed by draining the blood by cutting blood vessels

Why do you need to drain the blood? The meat would not keep and would deteriorate rapidly. 

How many sausages can you get from a pig? It depends on how much pork you use to make them.

It's cruel to kill animals.. followed by do you eat sausages and bacon? Yes...followed by where does it come from... the shop!

Why do you put in preservatives in the sausages?  You would have to eat them within 48hrs if you did not. Preservatives give you a shelf life of 5-7 days

Some of the kids knew that trotters are used to make gelatine and others were utterly fascinated by it! Pigs ear’s anyone……..



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