Vote for a cause.
As many of you will already know, one day a week I work on a small, city farm in London as part of my work for the National Autistic Society. Freightliner's Farm has been around since 1973 and has been in Islington since 1978. They are an organic, non-slaughtering and non-profit farm that provides education, work experience and other opportunities for the local community. For more info on Freightliners and its history, click HERE.
Before I started with the NAS I never ever thought that I would work on a farm. But over the last three months I have really come to love Freightliners and to appreciate all of the wonderful things that they do. Not only do they regularly host local schools and colleges, but they are extremely accepting and supportive of troubled youth, as well as of individuals and groups with special needs. I've never experienced a staff (that has its own organisation to worry about) more patient and inclusive than the one at Freightliners. Their ability to balance the needs of the farm with the needs of the individuals who regularly spend time there is simply astounding.
Like many non-profit organizations, however, the farm is struggling to stay open. Freightliners is currently involved in a local funding competition and is in the running for a grant of up to £10,000. They already keep bees, but would like to use some of the grant to buy extra materials that would allow them to provide educational sessions on bee keeping. The rest of the grant would be used to help keep the farm running for another year - a difficult task as they lost 70% of their funding a few years ago.
If you live in the UK please take a minute and vote for The Freightliner's Buzz Club. This is the easiest way to help the farm. If you don't live in the UK but like the idea of supporting an organisation like Freightliners, there are other options. Click here for some suggestions.
All charity requests aside, anyone finding themselves in London should definitely pay the farm a visit. It's easily accessible (a short walk from Caledonian Road tube station) and a really wonderful way to see a working farm in action. The farm cafe is also open Thursday-Sunday from 10-4 and serves a range of organic, vegetarian food made with as much farm produce as possible. This includes eggs from the farm's chickens, which are also available for purchase. I've eaten in the cafe a few times now and, honestly, the food is awesome. The head chef has such a talent for concocting delicious, original recipes and what you are served is well worth the cost. Plus, all of the money you spend goes directly toward the farm's upkeep.
Right. I don't think there's much more that I can say about this farm. Hopefully some of you will take the time out to vote for them to receive the green grant and hopefully even more of you will be able to find the time to pay them a visit.
One final non-farm-related note:
It's official! England is stuck with me for at least two more years according the UK Home Office. My biometric residence permit was delivered on Wednesday afternoon (by the funniest delivery man I've ever met) and my passport was returned the next day, along with lots of lovely paperwork. So, I shall be continuing to live and work in London for at least a little while longer. Which means that I will be requiring some more visitors as soon as possible. Any volunteers?