A new initiative is aiming to get urban kiwis out of their "social media bubbles" and onto the farm.

Open Farms will take place on Sunday March 1, with farmers inviting urban people onto their properties to take a look at farming life.

The man behind the movement, Daniel Eb, told The Country's Jamie Mackay that the Open Farms initiative was a simple way for urban and rural people to reconnect.

"What we have to do is just kind of go back to basics a little bit and shake each others' hands, look each other in the eye" said Eb.


"It sounds really basic but. ... that's particularly what urban people are really desperate to reconnect with and that's the way forward I reckon".

Eb said he was in a unique position to be able to understand both sides of the story, having grown up on the family farm in Northland before embarking on a career in communication and digital marketing.

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"I've kind of got a foot in both camps. So I hear from both side of the divide" he said.

"I hear from farmers who are saying 'we need to reconnect with urban kiwis, we're feeling a bit out of touch, we're feeling this tension and pressure' and at the same time I hear from urban folks who are saying 'I don't know where my food comes from'".

Open Farms was a way of finding common ground between the two groups, away from the "social media bubbles" people can get caught in said Eb.

"We're getting most of our information now from social media – and that's just not a reflection of the real world".

Some farmers new to the scheme found it "a little bit nerve-wracking" and were concerned that their farms weren't ready for the general public said Eb.

To help farmers out, Open Farms had a host handbook that answered questions and addressed any potential health and safety issues. Open Farms also took care of all the marketing and visitor registration through the website.


"So you don't really have to worry about anything except what are you going to show on the day" said Eb.

"We want as many farms to open up their gates as possible on the day. We'd love to see every farm do it".

Find out more about Open Farms at openfarms.co.nz