Riverford Wicked Leeks

growing your own

Monday 10th May 2010

According to our customer survey, a staggering 43% of you are growing some of your own vegetables. The potatoes may succumb to blight, gooseberries be defoliated by sawfly and lettuces devoured by slugs, but that is not the point. However gnarled, nibbled and diminutive those vegetables, in their naked simplicity they will be the most revered food to enter the kitchen. They will bring a connection to nature and the seasons, and an appreciation of the wasteful triviality of cosmetic perfection and season-defying variety. The trials and tribulations of their cultivation will challenge arrogance and nurture a healthy sense of vulnerability and humility. I could go on to suggest that gardening will make you a better person, but you have probably already written me off as a hopeless hippy.

Of course this could be a problem for us, especially at this time of year when our fields and those gardens are both entering their most abundant season. To make matters worse, when the more successful gardeners have a flush of runner beans or courgettes they tend to give the surplus to neighbours, friends and relatives. What can we do in the face of such admirable, community-building, planet-saving generosity? We should probably sell seeds, plants and compost and maybe we will next year (I would be interested to hear if you would like us to; email us here). In the meantime, let me point out to those of you who have us filed under V for veg, that we sell so much more; it will be a while before you have bananas and oranges with a house cow tethered out back. Of course if that green fingered neighbour has just dropped round a trug of courgettes and we deliver more the next day this might be a trifle trying, but the box scheme really is flexible. You can check what will be in your box from the previous Thursday, and change boxes or skip a week if there are overlaps. You can even choose not to have a box at all and simply top up your harvest with a bespoke order if you spend