Chewing the cud, with Bryony the Cow

A wise cow once told me that sometimes it is best to let silence do the talking, which is a motto I have lived by for most of my time at Vauxhall City Farm. You may walk past me at first, still and proud between the bird enclosures at the top of the farm, but the regular delighted squeals of children as they approach assure me that I have not become invisible.

My name is Bryony the Cow, and I am one of the longest serving residents of Vauxhall City Farm. Over the years, I have watched many visitors and volunteers pass through these gates, I have taught children and adults the magic of milk, and, once a year, I have been right in the centre of VCF’s largest mobile farm, the Lambeth Country Show.

And it is my experience at this huge event that has led me to break my silence and bring you this newsletter, because, after a two-year break, Vauxhall City Farm and Lambeth Country Show are back on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July, and I’m here to tell you all about it.

Vauxhall City Farm and the Lambeth Country Show Return!

For many local residents, the Lambeth Country Show has long been an annual fixture in their calendars, delighting children and adults, and celebrating the best that both city and countryside have to offer. Held in Brockwell Park in South London, the last time the show ran in 2019 they welcomed over 250,000 visitors across the weekend, with the Farm Zone being one of its most popular attractions.

Vauxhall City Farm has been part of the show since 2006. It is our largest mobile farm, biggest fundraising event of the year, and a chance for the whole team to come together and create something special for the public. As you can imagine, putting on something on such a large scale takes a lot of planning, and I caught up with VCF’s Livestock and Farmyard Coordinator, Sophie Howard, to get the lowdown on the Lambeth Country Show-down.

B: Are there any downsides?

S: It’s hard work! Lots of fun, but hard work and long days, especially as I’ll be camping at Brockwell Park to make sure you and all the other animals are safe onsite overnight.

B: What is your happiest memory from past Lambeth Country Shows?

S: In the past, some of our Young Farmers took part in the sheep show, which is held in the space next to us in the park. Watching the pride they feel showing their sheep and winning rosettes reminds you that helping young people really is at the core of all the work VCF do.

Bryony: Sophie, much like myself, you are quite the old (farm)hand at the Lambeth Country Show, aren’t you?

Sophie: Yes, this will be my fourth show, and would’ve been my sixth if the LCS had run in 2020 and 2021.

B: What is the best thing about the Lambeth Country Show?

S: The community! Every year the VCF trustees, staff and volunteers all pull together and create something really special for both the team and the public. Every single person who visits the farm over the weekend adds to that community, and their support and donations make all the difference to the farm and the work that we do.

B: What are you most looking forward to this year?

S: Everything! Being back after the two-year break – getting the VCF band back together, and putting on a great show!

B: Are there any animals that you’re particularly excited about bringing to the show this year?

S: The new bunnies. It will be their first event, and they’re so friendly, I think they’ll be a great addition to our LCS Cuddle Corner.

B: Finally, any words of wisdom for newcomers helping VCF at this year’s show?

S: Get as much sleep as you can beforehand, have fun, and thank you to all the volunteers that are helping to make it happen. We couldn’t do it without you!

How to get involved...

If you are interested in volunteering with Vauxhall City Farm at this year’s Lambeth Country Show, especially if you’re free in the evening of Sunday 17th July to help pack down and get the animals (and me!) back to Vauxhall, please get in touch with our team: volunteering@vauxhallcityfarm.org

We really hope to see all our supporters, old and new, at some point over the weekend – please keep an eye on our social media, which will be posting live updates throughout the weekend, including where to find us on the site in Brockwell Park.

A spot of housekeeping...

The farm site in Vauxhall will be closed from Friday 15th July to Monday 18th July, and Faith’s Place Bar and The Old Dairy Café will be closed on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July.

And I’ll finish this section of the moo-wsletter with some words from our Chair of Trustees, Faith Boardman:

“I am personally tremendously proud and pleased that the Farm will again be able to put the “Lamb” into Lambeth at the Lambeth Country Show on 16th / 17th July, specially after the 2 year break from the show that the pandemic has forced on all of us.

We at the Farm can’t wait to share our love, fun, and knowledge of all types of country and farming activities with all of our inner-city communities, families, and friends. I do hope we will see you there.” – Faith

Faith’s Place this July

From Faith’s words to Faith’s Place, the new bar at Vauxhall City Farm, complete with a beautiful sunny terrace, perfect for these glorious evenings we’ve been enjoying recently. To make those evenings even more pleasant, I’m told that we’ve added that British summer classic, Pimm’s and Lemonade, to our drinks menu, available from now in Faith’s Place!

We held our first live moo-sic night at the end of June, and it went so well that Edward Bois will be back to serenade you on Thursday 21st July, please keep an eye on our social media for full details and further events in the coming weeks. If you are interested in playing at Faith’s Place, or hosting a different kind of night in our unique space, please get in touch: faithsplace@vauxhallcityfarm.org

As an education charity, we know that the summer holidays are fast approaching, hampered only by the endlessness of the next couple of working weeks, which is why we’re offering a 20% discount on drinks to teachers every Thursday & Friday night in July, to help them push through those final weeks.

Simply flash us some ID and get those discounted rounds in!

We’re also offering EVERYONE a 15% discount on drinks every Saturday night in July, because we can! Weekend summer evenings are meant to be fun, and we want everyone to have fun at Faith’s Place.

Please remember that Faith’s Place will be closed on Saturday 16th July for the Lambeth Country Show.

Our VCF fundraising champion!

At the end of June, Faith’s Place hosted a summer social for George Ewen, who you may remember recently ran a marathon and raised over £2000 for Vauxhall City Farm.

This is not an achievement we could let go uncelebrated, so at the social, CEO Monica Tyler presented George with our VCF Fundraising Champion 2022 trophy.

Our fabulous fundraisers really make a difference to Vauxhall City Farm, and we’ve been so udderly touched by the many imaginative and innovative ways people have raised moo-ney for us in the past. If you are interested in helping to fundraise for Vauxhall City Farm and the vital work that we do, please get in touch with our team: info@vauxhallcityfarm.org.

If you need some help coming up with fundraising ideas, please see our website for a little inspiration.

You can also support Vauxhall City Farm by donating directly, or following our Social Media, which is completely free, but really helps us spread the word about all the work that we do!

Thank you to June’s Corporate Volunteer Groups!

We’ve had so many fantastic Corporate Volunteer groups at VCF recently, and the difference they’ve made is visible throughout the farm. To all of those, especially the ones who have signed for this newsletter, THANK YOU!

If your team is looking for a fun away day, and a chance to give back to the community, please click here to visit our website for further details, or contact us directly: info@vauxhallcityfarm.org

We also have two purpose-built meeting rooms available for hire and can provide delicious catering for your meeting or event, please see our website, or get in touch today for more information.

News from the 'Farm

On Sunday our alpacas got their summer haircuts, and I think you’ll agree, they look…different! It’s taking us a little time to get used to their new look, but we’re glad that they will be nice and cool for the warmer weather.

We’re told they were perfectly behaved throughout the shearing process, and couldn’t wait to get back to the farm and get those grass nuts.

The Polish Chicken eggs that were incubated have hatched, and our chicks are now ready for visitors and Meet & Greets! Buy your Meet & Greet Voucher by clicking here, then contact the office team to book your slot.

You can find the chicks in the Guinea Pig area in the Small Animal Room.

If the farm seems a bit noisier than usual, it may be because we’re weaning this years crop of kids. You can take their mind off the process by booking a VIP Meet & Greet with them. They’re growing fast, so you’ll need to be quick.

If Pygmy Goats are more your thing, then you’ll be glad to know they are also now doing Meet & Greets and are available for adoption via our website. Click here for more information.

Our garden is coming along beautifully, although we still have a bit more work to do before it will be ready to open to the public. Our new, larger greenhouse will commence construction on the week beginning 18th July. This is incredibly exciting for us, as we will be able to expand our education and training offer to encompass this fantastic new growing space.

Finally, a note from our Education Team, Young Farmers has been put on hold for the summer, but we have lots of exciting things planned for the holidays! Please make sure you’re checking our website and social media for news on those as it is released.

In the meantime, don’t forget we have a choice of fantastic workshops available to book now. If your group are looking to meet some fabulous animals or want to learn about how to be more sustainable, then please see our website for further details and how to book.

Bye bye from Bryony!

I think that’s quite enough moo-ws for now, so I’ll sign off and see you at Lambeth Country Show on the 16th & 17th July!

Vauxhall City Farm is open from Tuesday to Sundays, from 10.30am to 4pm, except for the 15th, 16th & 17th July 2022, when we’ll be at the Lambeth Country Show.

If you require further information on anything, you can reply directly to this newsletter or contact our staff team at: info@vauxhallcityfarm.org.

We hope to see you either at the show, the farm, our café or Faith’s Place, our onsite bar, soon!

You can keep up to date with everything Vauxhall City Farm related by following our Social Media channels at the links below.

Thank you, always, for your support.

Bryony

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