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Hackney City Farm

Aprile 2009
Siamo nel pieno centro di Londra, e questi animali sono gli ospiti fissi di una fattoria molto speciale: la Hackney City Farm, ricostruita sul terreno originario dopo oltre un secolo. Ci si arriva comodamente con la metropolitana.

di John Rigg

File audio:

Larry the donkey
Larry the donkey

Speaker: Rachel Roberts (Standard British accent)

London has many surprises, but no one will believe what we have discovered in Hackney. Incredibly, right in the middle of this East London district, there’s a farm! It’s called Hackney City Farm and it has sheep, pigs and many other animals. Assistant manager Bronwen Wilson says, “It really is amazing to walk around a corner in a busy London street and see a farmyard.”


So, what is a farm doing in the middle of London? It all started about 25 years ago when Hackney Council offered a group of local volunteers the site so that they could start a community farm. Today it’s a working farm with pigs, cows, rabbits, poultry and small animals like guinea pigs. Bronwen explains, “The farm is a great success: over 50 volunteers come each week to help with the animals and work in the gardens. We run educational courses and local schools make regular day visits, too.” 


The farm has over 60,000 visitors a year, but entrance is free, so how does it survive? It sells the produce of the farm, from meat and eggs to vegetables and fruit. There is a busy garden with a fruit orchard, plus vegetable and herb gardens. The farm is also popular with TV companies as a convenient film location.


The farm has its own special surprise: the Frizzante Café run by three sparkling Italian chefs: Armando, Eddy and Mauro. They happily explain to regular customers how to make their wonderful Italian specialities such as rabbit stew with polenta and orecchiette with broccoli.
Who are the stars of Hackney City Farm? “We have two stars,” says Bronwen. “One is Larry the donkey who has featured in lots of TV advertisements, and plays the donkey in the nativity play every Christmas at Westminster Cathedral. The other star is Cyril the chicken. We thought ‘he’ was a cockerel until he laid an egg one day. Now she thinks she’s a cat and sits on people’s laps!”
Hackney City Farm
1a Goldsmiths Row
London E2 8QA
Tel: 020 7729 6381
Email: farm@hackneycityfarm.co.uk

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farm - fattoria.

sheep - pecore.

pigs - maiali.

amazing - incredibile.

farmyard - aia.

cows, rabbits, poultry - mucche, conigli, polli.

guinea pigs - porcellini d’India.

produce - prodotti freschi.

fruit orchard - frutteto.

sparkling - frizzanti.

rabbit stew - stufato di coniglio.

donkey - asino.

nativity play - commedia di natale.

cockerel - gallo.

laps - grembo.