Celebrating 10 years of Vrouva Farm
Eric came first. Vrouva Farm was definitely his idea for us and we helped his dream unfold.
We don't know much about his past but one thing we do know is that it was an unhappy one. Often lonely, hungry, abused and overworked..! He was a riding pony for photographs, stolen and reclaimed and finally, in his mid twenties, destined for the slaughter house.
He was rescued, literally from the butcher's van, by the Ipperos Farm in Evia.
Unfortunately, "Ipperos" was full so Eric had to be re-homed.
Alexia took him in and brought him to the new area that she had bought....and so, Vrouva Farm was born. That piece of land is where Vrouva farm is located today.
Eric lived in the farm until the end of 2019. Then he moved to the world of angels where he really belonged.
Together with Eric, Fay was one of the first residents we had at Vrouva Farm.
Fay sadly passed away in 2014, but we will never forget her.
Fay had many adventures in her life. She came to Vrouva rather traumatized but learned to trust humans again, especially after her leg injury which brought her lots of attention from everyone. She ended up with a limp, but was galloping again this summer. Her best friend was Manolis ; who knows how many stories they shared when they communicated with each other.
The story of Noddy
When Sandy Kalamaras first saw Noddy, his bones were showing and he could hardly walk. She found the owners who claimed he was so thin because he didn't have enough teeth to chew his food with! But the truth was, he was starving. Vivi (of Animal Protection) agreed to pay for Maria the vet to examine him and Sandy and Gaby (Wolffe) accompanied her.
The wife of the owner was also present and asked Maria to either euthanize him or take him away. Maria gave him de worming medicine, anti inflammatory injections and Sandy and Gaby drove up to feed him. Gaby paid for his food and Alexia agreed to let him come to Vrouva. Because of Noddy, Sandy volunteered to work at the farm and Gaby became involved as well. Sandy is now a regular at the farm because of Noddy (thank you Noddy!).
It was discovered that a tattoo in Noddy's ear has his date of birth more than 35 years ago, so he is a darling old horse. He lived with us untill 2016.
Kiwi compound - with love from N.Z.
There came a time when we needed more shelter for our dogs. Help came from Karen Laurie and Sue MacDougall from New Zealand who raised the funds needed. Kostas and Sotiris volunteered their time and skills to build the structure which to this day is still in a good state. We lovingly call this the "Kiwi Compound" and the dogs are so happy with it.
Vrouva cats and their favorite spots
Love is in the air
Noddy was lonely and annoyed by the dogs and the donkeys were having problems with the sheep. The corral was separated in two and the donkeys moved in along with Noddy. He was very happy that he had company and soon he fell in love with Margarita! When he ate we had to take Margarita away because from his stable window he threw food to her. She was starting to get big. Kitsos at first was a little annoyed with their love. But after a while he understood that a donkey isn’t loved by a white horse every day and he started being proud of his Margarita. And Noddy, instead of being an old horse waiting to die, he was transformed into a “Pegasus” because of the way his friends saw him!
Fun at the playground.
Then there was light
Michaeli saw two used solar panels for sale and told Alexia about them. Alexia decided to buy them and Kostas and Sotiri installed them on a platform and strung up four lights in four different locations. And voila.... they now have some lights in the evening at the farm. It is a small bit of magic.
A rare experience for Aegina. Winter 2017 brought us snow. What a lovely surprise!
The story of Lavender and Blue
Lavender and Blue were tied up in a plastic bag and left in a forest when they were very young pups. Luckily they were found and brought to Vrouva and even though Vrouva was chock a block full at the time, Alexia took them in. They were given so much love that they got over their terrible experience and began to blossom into two happy, playful, loving, fun filled dogs.
The two have such a strong bond that Alexia didn’t want them to be separated cause she felt it might be very traumatic for them. She was so happy and relieved when they were offered a home together.
"Friends of the Strays of Greece" has helped so many of our dogs to find happy homes. They work hard to find the perfect fit and we always have our minds at ease knowing that they believe that only the best homes are good enough for our dogs.
Through "Friends of the Strays of Greece", Kristin Tarry and John Downie found Lavender (now Lola) and Blue. They have opened their home and hearts to Lola and Blue.
Gina and Tzanis joining the farm
Please welcome Gina and Tzanis, two horses who have joined the animals at Vrouva Farm. Tzanis is the white horse in the photos; he is old and very thin, but putting on weight every day. His friend Gina is younger and healthier. Tzanis was rescued from people unable to look after him properly. There was a formal complaint and Tzanis was confiscated and Alexia was asked if she could take him. Since Tzanis and Gina were friends, it seemed cruel to separate them, so a sponsor offered to buy Gina from the family so the two horses could remain together. The sponsor Alia Goettler is also paying for the monthly food requirements for each horse. The horses are slowly settling in , thanks to Marianna and Tzetzo and Alexia, and we are very grateful to Alia for her kind and generous support.
The story of Hope / Elpida
Once upon a time, a woman named Constantina met a cow and was struck by her gentleness and beauty and when she heard that she was about to be sold for slaughter, she decided to save her. She began a "Save the Cow" facebook page to raise the money to buy her, and after achieving this and bringing the cow to her garden, began to look for a farm where she could live, and she found Vrouva Farm.
It was not easy to move the cow, now named Hope, to Vrouva. Hope had to be registered, vaccinated and transported by special truck. It took over 4 months to accomplish. In the end, she came to Aegina in a cattle truck, accompanied by other cows which were dropped off in Piraeus to be slaughtered. If cows talk to each other, one can imagine the stories that Hope listened to. The last part of the trip was made walking, accompanied by Constantina and Sotiros and Tzetzo.
Hope spent the first weekend feeling very sad, being shown by the horses that she was a lesser creature. By Tuesday, however, she made friends with Erik the pony. And now she is finally settling in and finding her place in the great Vrouva animal family.
And we hope she will live happily ever after.
Our first pig joined the farm, Suzy
The newest resident at the farm is pretty miss Suzy. She was rescued in Aegina by Sofia as a baby and was raised with tender love and care. As she grew bigger, the neighbors ‘ complains increased. In the end ,she lost her home and found herself alone and dazzled in Vrouva Farm. It was only when her beloved Sofia and Eri payed her a visit that she was able to relax and bestowed upon us her first smile!
Beautiful rainbow over the Farm
We love the nature at Vrouva
Angelo, Gucci and Bebis joining the farm
2020 brought us a very gentle, retired carriage horse, Angelo and a little, sweet and cheeky piglet named Gucci. She loves belly rubs and calls you if you pass by without greeting her. Bebis arrived towards the end of the year. He is an affectionate and inquisitive donkey who loves to follow us around, even when we visit the toilet. They've added lots of fun and joy to the farm!
Cobra, Melina and Beba joining the farm
After the summer of 2021, three new horses arrived at Vrouva Farm.
We are happy that Cobra, Melina and Beba can enjoy their retirement peacefully at our farm. They are enjoying the fresh hay and the attension.
Grandma olive tree
Alexia was passing by a field what was cleared for a building site and noticed an old olive tree about to be cut down. At that moment she decided to save the tree and arranged for it to be brought to Vrouva. Welcome grandma olive
Vrouva Farm 10 years
Blog by Marlies, volunteer.
Probably somewhere in 2010 I was taking a hike with Alexia somewhere in the middle of nowhere, (I was happy Alexia was with me, because I did not have a clue where we were)
When Alexia told me about an idea she was having. She wanted to start a farm on the place we were walking.
I will be honest, I thought her idea was too ambitious. A farm on Aegina in Greece, where animal rescue is not something what a lot of people understand (especially 10 years ago) . And the country was in the middle of the economic crisis.. I did not really see it happening, but I admired Alexia for trying and of course for everything she was already doing for the animals, big or small.
A year later I was walking on the same spot again and it was so great to see Eric, the pony, walking around and the farm was becoming a real thing. Eric loved the place and so did the other animals. I was clearly wrong and so happy that Alexia had the strength and bravery to start Vrouva Farm. Together with a great group of volunteers and animal lovers around her.
Since I live and work in the Netherlands I am not at Vrouva Farm so very often, but because I come only around twice a year I can really see the difference every time I come.
The place is improving all the time and it is great to see the effort people all over the world are making for the farm.
And somehow they can still surprise me, when Jezo told me that he wanted to make a bathroom with a shower and proper toilet, I thought that it was not possible. Was I wrong again, Vrouva now has a lovely bathroom and kitchen for the volunteers. But most important, it is a great place for rescued animals!
Now Vrouva Farm already exists for 10 years and what they have achieved in those 10 years is amazing. Seeing animals walking around like Hope and Suzy is great to see. They are getting such good care.
Vrouva Farm started with nothing and now is an amazing place for rescued animals with a great group of volunteers.
Vrouva congratulations on the 10 years and how much you have changed the lives for the better of the animals coming to the farm. I am looking forward to help the next 10 years. And know when you want to achieve something go for it.