looking to a bright 2013

Happy New Year. I trust you are well rested, well fed and full of intentions to cook and eat you way to heath in 2013. My festivities were slightly marred by piles of decaying Christmas cards; it was another one of my hair-brained schemes and it went disastrously wrong. In the run up to Christmas, I cajoled, bullied and bribed nephews, children, staff and their families to stuff 50,000 Christmas cards with a chilli and two sprigs of rosemary to go in your Christmas boxes. They looked great, but when we came to put them in the boxes many of the chillies had gone bad. With sprouts and turkeys to be dealt with, it was too late to do anything other than consign them to the compost heap. A pity for customers, frustrating for staff and a total humiliation for me. 

So, should 2013 be the year I grow up and stop being such an idiot? At 52, it probably is time but there really is no chance of it happening. What really made my Christmas was the reaction to the card debacle from staff. Yes I should be less impetuous and impatient at suggestions of caution, yes we should do shelf life tests before embarking on such a project, but also yes, we should keep trying new things. In this tirelessly ever-changing world, if you stop enjoying change it is time to hang up your hoe. 

Not much went to plan in 2012 as our cropping plans were laid to waste by the nine month deluge. But we flexed and adapted, wriggled and scrimped and coped extraordinarily well. The budget is in tatters but I have never been more confident in, or proud of Riverford. We have a near perfect balance of technical competence and creativity which, combined with determination, hard work and a shared purpose is going to make 2013 a great year whatever it throws at us and the boxes. So, no hiding under umbrellas!   

Out in the fields, the first broad beans are peeping through and the first lettuce and cabbage will be sown under glass this week. We are preparing to plant the first lettuce, spinach and pak choi in our new tunnels in France. .
            Guy Watson