I’ve moved my laptop to the kitchen table this morning as I write this because that’s where I always get my inspiration in the mornings, contemplating life, the universe and vegetables. Yes, that’s right. You read correctly. I keep getting inspired to write about my experience with veg. So today is the day.
Now, if you can, please pause on the laughter for a few minutes, I’m being absolutely serious.
It was this morning, after listening to Guy Singh-Watson’s Desert Island Discs (which popped up in my Facebook news feed) that I finally knew it was time to put my whirring insights onto a laptop screen and tell people about my new-found joy.
The joy I have found – and continue to find – every time I order veg from Riverford is the kind of joy I have not found anywhere else in life. I know. I know what you’re thinking. This woman is one of the crazies. And it does sound a bit mad, but it’s true (not the crazy bit). The feeling-joy-from-veg bit.
When I met and spoke to Vicki from Riverford Bath at a local event recently, I told her about it too. And she agreed. Well, I think she agreed. She nodded a lot and said yes! She got it. This organic veg and the whole Riverford experience makes you feel better. So, I wanted to write it all down, because it keeps coming back to me how amazingly true the Riverford strapline is.
You really can live (and arguably, love) life on the veg
It starts from the moment I get my email reminder on a Friday afternoon. Except it’s not just a reminder. It’s a like picking from a Christmas List as a child. In reality, though, it’s a message telling me what’s in the veg boxes next week. So, excitedly I click and click and click looking at the beautiful photos to see what’s in store for my next order as I notice how much I love the curly font on screen. I know. I know. (But try it for yourself!)
Now, I don’t order every week. One because as a ‘Super-Single’ I can’t always eat everything that arrives in one box in one week. And secondly, I still consider it a bit of a luxury to have veg delivered to the door. So, it’s probably only every couple or three weeks that I allow myself to indulge.
But, the excitement of choosing, then Waiting for Wednesdays (yes, I’ve made it a ‘thing’) then seeing the box on my doorstep or meeting the lovely delivery man who brings it, is incredible!
Then there’s the opening of the box!
And seeing all that beautiful veg separated only by mini cardboard containers or thick paper bags. There’s the shape of each veg. All the colours. The dirt. Yes, I love the dirty veg (steady…) and the truly rustic erm… real look and feel of it all.
Oh, and the smell. How could I forget the smell? Of the earth and the soil and all that natural goodness which literally oozes out into the room.
And then I stumble upon ‘Guy’s News’. An A5 personally written, newsy-flyer from the Riverford’s founder, which is dropped into the box for connection with the customer. And connect I do, while I’m busy unpacking or just staring in admiration at my veg.
Confession alert: sometimes, I even save it to read while cooking, like a child saving her best sweets ‘til last (or, hey! Come to think of it, I used to save my roast potatoes ‘til last, when I was a child!)
It’s a gift that keeps on giving
I haven’t even got to describing any preparation, cooking or eating stages yet. But when I finally do get to the washing and chopping and cooking and eating of my veg, I feel such a connection to both Riverford, the organisation and the veg itself.
I can honestly say that all these ‘happy feelings’ still inhabit me each and every time I order, each and every time I wait expectantly and each and every time I gaze at my veg when it arrives. When I store them, when I peel them, when I chop them, cook them and eat them. Every. Single. Time.
Like a new-found love, I keep on wondering when the honeymoon phase will be over. But with a gift that keeps on giving and the depth of love I imagine goes into these beauties, I hope this is a love that’s going to last.
And no, it doesn’t stop there
I’ve also started to notice that each time I eat these delicious veg, I feel healthier too. And my digestion is better. My love – and respect for vegetables has also grown, too.
Can you tell?
As I’ve been reflecting on this whole joyful-veg-thing, I have realised that what I’m probably really tapping into here is not just the quality of the veg itself, but the energy of Riverford’s foundations. Their purpose and intentions as an organisation, their ‘force for good’ (check them out for yourself www.riverford.co.uk) and the entire way in which the company is run.
It’s their whole philosophy (no pun intended) their core values, the love and respect when growing veg, love for the veg itself, the land and the people who work with and for Riverford. It’s all of that. Everything and more.
It’s their core values that feel wholesome. The intention directed towards the ‘life’ and heart of the company, their produce, the work involved, the land and the people.
How do I know? I can feel it
I can taste it. It’s buried deep in the hearts of their veg. So, all that is happening here is that this beautiful energy is transferred onto me, the customer.
Remember, this is how it is with all of us who genuinely care about our work. We must remember that we all feel the energy which is generated and passed onto us from those we engage with, whether we notice it or not. It’s natural. It’s normal. And it’s unavoidable. Since we are all made of that same energy, too.
Perhaps this is why most supermarket produce doesn’t taste of anything. There is little heart or real engagement between the people involved throughout the entire process before it reaches our hand, the ‘consumer’ (even that word is disengaging).
We can tell what is real, what is fake, what is harmful and what is nourishing in life
As a person who is highly sensitive to energy, the logic of this really doesn’t surprise me. But what has surprised me is the ongoing ‘happy feelings’ I feel each and every time I order, reorder and re-activate that positive neural-pathway of joy which is now embedded (a stark contrast to the absence of joy when on a supermarket-shop).
I should point out that I have not been asked (or paid!) to write this article for Riverford. I love to write and my interest as a Coach is in helping individuals and organisations to slow down, leave their Rat Race and to live life more authentically.
In order to do that and to feel better, one important thing I believe we must do is to tune in, acknowledge and feel all of our feelings.
Having grown up on a farm in Wiltshire with a father who grew all his own produce which our mother prepared and my siblings and I all enjoyed as a family, perhaps I can thank the Riverford family for taking me down this lovely old road of fond memories.
If you haven’t yet given yourself permission to try the ‘Joys of Riverford’ and Living Life on the Veg, I urge you to give one of their veg boxes a go if you can.
Then notice how you feel when you do. It really is a beautifully engaging and enlightening process from start to finish.
And as the old saying goes, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’.
And trust me, those veg puddings taste mighty good.
Slow Coach Sarah is also a contributor for Thrive Global. See her profile and other published articles here https://thriveglobal.com/authors/sarah-thayer/
Connect with Sarah on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/slowcoachsarah/?modal=admin_todo_tour