Women in food: Inspiring others

One of the best things about where we work is that Vauxhall City Farm is just down the road, a genuine little bit of countryside in central London. You can hang out with Alpacas, ride a horse and learn how to grow squash and pumpkins. Everyone needs a bit of nature in their life. Even more so when you live in the city. Get some inspiration, whether you're an adult or child. Find your local city farm here

We spoke to Carol Bentall, CEO of Vauxhall City Farm, about how she got started and what her advice to others would be.

What inspired you to take on your role at Vauxhall City Farm? 

I made a deliberate career move from the Corporate World to the Youth Charity Sector six years ago.  I grew up on a farm and have a life-long love of nature so when the job at Vauxhall City Farm came up it felt like the perfect combination of everything I’m passionate about.

What's the most unexpected joy you get from what you do? 

Seeing the reaction of children when they come face to face with our animals and seeing the incredible (and often funny and poignant) interactions between the two!

What would your advice be to other women interested in getting into farming?

That they have an up to date tetanus jab… seriously :) The best advice I'd give is the same advice I would give any women who wanted to get into a particular field (pardon the pun), if it’s what you want to do go for it.  If you don’t have the right experience to break into right now; find ways to take personal ownership or fill the gaps; develop your knowledge (there’s a whole world of resources out there); get some practical experience (volunteering is a great way forward) then don’t be afraid to display your passion and value to potential employers.

Finally, we couldn't help ourselves. What are your top tips to stop wasting food? 

Ignore supermarket special offers; only buy what you know you’ll need and use.  If you still have ‘left-overs’ find ways to avoid putting them in the bin; get creative with your cooking (some of my favourite recipes have been born this way!). Always look for alternatives to the bin; composting, sharing and making better use of the freezer.

You can visit Vauxhall City Farm Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm in Lambeth, London. Support the work they do by volunteering or donating.