“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.”
In this newsletter:
- Animal Update (Goats, Piglets, Birds, Food Choices)
- FREE Outdoor Wellbeing + Practical Skills Course
- Online Vegetable Gardening Course
- Current Vacancies
- Summer Camp
- Land Skills Fair
- Buy Vegetable Plants Online
- Outlandish Nights
- Super Saturdays
- Food at the City Farm
- Become a Monthly Donor (or simply a one-off donation, 🙏 please, we got a hole in our budget!)
City Farm Animals' Update
And just like that St Werburghs City Farm is full of life again...
Though this joy has come with immense sadness too...
Barley, who just gave birth to the triplet kid goats, died on Tuesday from a womb infection.
Despite the best efforts from our Farmers and support from the vet, we couldn't pull her through, and she is no longer with us.
If you've been paying attention — sign up to the City Farm's newsletter — you'll know we've been hoping for Barley (nanny goat) and Crumble (nannyling or first time to be mother goat) to become pregnant.
And it almost all came together...
Barley gave birth to three (3) healthy male kid goats on Sunday May 1st, just after the new moon.
Her due date was May 4th so the little ones have naturally been named after Star War characters: Darth, Chewy and Ewok.
The triplets all had their first fills of colostrum, are curiously exploring their surroundings, playfully head butting each other and whoever dares to enter their pen, and were giving warm love licks to their mum, who had already stood up to start feeding them and had already started eating again.
But on Monday May 2nd the day began with a very different tone.
Barley resumed labour, had a stillbirth and began running a fever.
During the entire day the kid goats were able to continue feeding whilst she was lying down.
She received antibiotics and very strong painkillers.
But it wasn't enough.
She died in the early hours of Tuesday without too much pain.
Now the kid goats are being looked after by us humans.
And we're doing our very best and finding solace in the vitality and energy these little ones have.
If you visit you'll be able to spot a heat lamb for warmth and a specialist machine that allows the little goats 24hr access to warm milk replacer.
We'll start encouraging them to nibble solid food and hopefully wean them off milk before they're two months old.
You'll also notice blue spots on their heads as they've been disbudded (dehorned).
Our other younger nannyling (to be first time mother), Crumble, is living next door waiting to give birth to her own kids in mid June.
Unfortunately we can't allow her to bond more closely with the orphans as they could steal all Crumble's milk needed for her own kids.
She's a herd animal and will be missing Barley more then we are.
Saffron, who's been at Windmill Hill City Farm during this time — as Apache, the Billy goat father to the goat kids, is also Saffron's father — has returned to us (she would have soon be slaughtered for meat next week).
Several of our staff members, service users and volunteers had asked for her to not come back as it's always difficult to part ways with an animal before it's slaughtered, especially if you've come to know and care for the animal.
But in the current circumstances, giving the void that Barley has left in the City Farm, Saffron is back and everyone is very happy about it as she's one of the most gentle and friendly goats we've had.
And last but not least, an important reminder to wash your hands after visiting the goats and please remember, pregnant women should not approach this area to avoid disease risks.
Since rehoming Penny, the City Farm's sow, we decided we're no longer breeding pigs.
Instead, each spring we'll buy local piglets and rear them for autumn meat.
So that's what we've just done.
This will allow the pig sty to regenerate during the winter and given the very limited space we have on the City Farm it's the most sensible thing to do (as highlighted by last year's Livestock Review).
About a week and a half ago three team members went on a day trip and came back with three (3) six month old Kunekune pigs.
Kunekune is a Māori-language word meaning "fat and round".
Most pigs normally reach their butchering size and weight at around six (6) months but Kune's take between 9 and 12 months so these three will be with us until the Autumn.
After over four (4) months of farm poultry lockdown, the government lifted the majority of bird flu restrictions (though outbreaks do continue) and farmed birds can once again roam under the free sky.
This allowed us, after a long wait, to finally rehome the six (6) female ducks to Bath City Farm. The remaining male is waiting for a trip to a small holding in town. During bird flu lockdown their pond became a dipping pond and is starting to attract insects and wildlife.
And In case you missed it, we now have a baby gosling and two ducklings on site, and we're hoping more geese eggs will hatch soon.
St Werburghs City Farm was born over 40 years ago as a way to involve people living in a city in the running of a working livestock farm so that we wouldn't forget where our food comes from.
Staying true to our foundational ethos remains important to this day so we invite you to consider the conditions in which animals are reared. Empathy can go a long way when considering how a creature is treated and what type of farming practices we're supporting with our dietary choices.
The 2019 IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found that industrial agriculture and overfishing are the primary drivers of extinction, with the meat and dairy industries having a substantial impact.
Ultimately our food and economical systems dictate what's on the menu, and for many it's simply not possible to access local healthy food that isn't costing people and planet, which is why we'll continue to do our bit and try to tell the story of food as it is, whilst showcasing local initiatives that are leading the way in demonstrating alternatives.
18 - 25 year olds: FREE Outdoor Wellbeing + Practical Skills Course
begins Monday May 16th
It's FREE and begins Monday May 16th between 11AM - 3PM.
The course combines gentle wellbeing practices with outdoor skills such as growing vegetables, fire lighting, green woodworking, charcoal making, harvesting and making herbal medicine and much more.
To apply and be offered a space, please submit this form ASAP: www.swcityfarm.co.uk/volunteer-interest-form/.
The form can also be filled out on-site or if you have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01179428241.
Our expert team of gardeners and horticulturists have been giving growing tips and advice to hundreds of customers, volunteers and allotmenteers from all sorts of backgrounds.
So just before the pandemic began, the "Propagators" — the affectionate way we refer to those who work by the pollytunnel — decided to make their knowledge and experience accessible to a lot more people.
And during the last two (2) years, along Tim Foster's help to shape the curriculum, they've developed an Online Vegetable Gardening Course for Beginners to act as a companion and guide into your first forays of growing your own vegetables.
The course material is a mixture of videos, activities and written information and includes amongst other things:
- how to map, plan and design your own garden
- information on crop rotations and cropping techniques
- everything you need to know about plant nutrition and composting
- how prevent and deal with pests and diseases
- information on how to grow a variety of plant families!
(Part-time, Operational Manager Grade)
For Job Description and full details: GO HERE!
Closing Date: Monday May 16th
Contract Type: Permanent
Salary: Starting salary of £28,226, pro rata, per annum, paid monthly
Hours of work: 22.5 to 30 hours per week (0.6 - 0.8 FTE) depending on the right candidate. The majority of hours will be undertaken between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Location: this role is based at St Werburghs City Farm in Bristol however some remote working may be possible. The Office is a dog-friendly workplace.
(Zero Hours — Child and Youth Team)
For Job Description and full details: GO HERE!
Closing Date: Monday May 9th
Contract Type: Zero-hours contract
Salary: £10.30 per hour + £50 per overnight
Hours of work: three days and two nights from July 25th to July 27th, and between 8:30AM and 6:00PM from August 15th to August 18th .
Location: this role is based at St Werburghs City Farm in Bristol.
Dates: Monday August 15th - Thursday August 18th
Schedule: 10AM - 4PM each day.
Ages: 6 to 12 years old.
Cost: £120 per child.
Extended wrap around care is also available from 8:30AM - 10AM and / or from 4PM - 5:30PM and costs £16 per day or £10 per morning / afternoon session.
The Landworkers’ Alliance is a union of farmers, growers, foresters and land-based workers with a mission is to improve the livelihoods of their members and create a better food and land-use system for everyone.
As members of The Landworkers's Alliance we invite you to this weekend of multigenerational and multicultural skill and knowledge exchange through workshops, talks, activities, music and of course delicious food and drink.
The Land Skills Fair as an opportunity to build the Food and Land Justice movement through a diverse, celebratory, creative and safe space, and for everyone to learn from each other and explore different land-based topics and practices.
Spring orders have concluded and summer ones have begun.
Are you on it?
Purchase thriving seedlings via our simple online ordering system, and get ready for an abundant harvest!
The first three (3) have been a magical blast and only the last two (2) are left!
From England's finest traditional musicians, folk Balkan and Romani tunes, and music born in rural southern France to Quebec-inspired folk, Irish, American and Appalachian old-time, and Greek island Crete’s traditional fiery music: book your tickets because you're in store for something truly special.
FULL CALENDAR OF Outlandish Nights:
- APRIL 8: Roma, Gypsy & Traveller culture with YekDuy Band and Thomas McCarthy
- APRIL 15: Cretan tunes and songs with Balothizer and John Langan
- APRIL 22: Irish Trad & Appalachian tunes and song with Alfi and Sally In The Woods
- MAY 13: English Trad with Nick Hart & Tom Moore (Tune Set) and Garance Louis (and support) — French chanson
- MAY 20: A trip to Quebec with Club Débris (with support act Gathering Night)
St Werburghs City Farm Cafe served a seasonally inspired menu for the first two evenings whilst Houria Catering, a Bristol-based anti-slavery and anti-racism catering organisation, training and hiring female survivors of slavery, catered for the third one and will also serve Pan-Afrikan Vegan feasts for the last two.
Please follow us on social media to get details for each Saturday.
Each year, the City Farm has to raise more than £500,000 to deliver our vital community services and activities and to keep the City Farm open and freely accessible all year round.
Given the current economic crisis it's each becoming more and more difficult to fundraise.
And this year we're running short.
In about a month's time will know exactly how big of a money hole we'll have to fill in our budget to simply continue doing the essential work we're already doing.
Charities, just as ourselves, rely on grants, contracts and donations to carry out community work, and following the pandemic we've not been able to secure some of the funding that we were counting on.
We're extremely grateful for one-off donations of any size.
If it's within your reach, the most effective way to support the City Farm is to become a regular MONTHLY DONOR, as this allows us to better plan for the future and support our communities' ongoing needs.
You can donate in the following ways:
- Pop a £3 donation into the donation bin every time you visit — or use the "Tap to Donate" facility if passing by the gates
- Make a one-off online donation using LocalGiving
- Become a regular Monthly Donor by signing up at LocalGiving
And… what else?
- Eat at the City Farm: the Community Garden and the Bee Garden are great places for picnics so come and explore; The Tuesday Cafe is "pay you can" every week during school term serving lunch from 12:30PM; order an Afrikan Vegan Friday Feast from Houria Catering Bristol on Thursdays before 10PM and pickup at the City Farm on the following day; slow down at the hobbit house and let the food be the medicine — St Werburghs City Farm Cafe is open Fridays to Mondays from 10AM to 4PM during school term (and Mondays to Thursdays during holidays)
- Try something new this June: Green Social Prescribing Taster Sessions: Festival of Nature has joined forces with Natural England and NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to organise a series of Green Social Prescribing taster sessions across Bristol and Bath. As part of the programme, we will hold a "Wellbeing & Volunteering Taster Session" at Boiling Wells so come and join us on Thursday June 16th between 12PM and 3PM if you'd like to explore this space to refer service users to us.
- Thank you to Blaise Plant Nursery for the vegetable plants! Blaise Plant Nursery gave free plants to more than 50 groups in Bristol who support those affected by the cost of living crisis and grow for food banks and food sharing schemes
- The last Women's Sharing Circle was quite powerful
- The rates to hire spaces at the City Farm are now published on our website and we also have an events' section with a Calendar of City Farm Events