A tiny light of gratitude

heritage farm farm stay

To be honest, we don’t say thank you enough. No one does. And when we’re under pressure, when we’re overtired, when we’re stressed we say it even less. Despite the fact that that’s when we should say it most.

2020 has been rough. And not just, or even mostly, on us. 600,000 people have lost their jobs in a month. 2799 homes were destroyed in this summer’s bushfires. And if you’re following the climate science, the bad news just keeps coming.

Matt and I are often absorbed in our our own lives, and our own business. Desperate to sleep through the night and we’re so keen to finish potty training. I need to weed the garlic beds. We’re struggling to balance the books and keep all our staff on through covid. The fridge desperately needs a clean out-in fact, the whole house needs a solid scrub. I’m calculating the carbon footprint of our sheep flock, and then calculating how much carbon we’re sequestering on farm. Our gutters need cleaning out. It’s May, and I still haven’t finished planning our Autumn planting. Some days just keeping up with all our emails seems insurmountable.

I’m well aware that everyone has a list like ours. It might have different things on it. But the details aren’t really what I want to talk about. I don’t really want to talk about the all-encompassing and terrifying nature of an endless to do list either. In fact, I just want to say thank you to you beautiful bunch of people, for putting up with our crazy.

Last Friday, and this coming Tuesday everyone will find a bonus item in their box. A beautiful pot of micro-shiso (great for a fancy garnish, or a twisted mojito) or a fresh herb bunch (including mint for a traditional mojito). This is just a little token to say thank you for supporting your local food system, and your local farming families.

We think thank you often, but we say it so rarely.

So, to the people who have been with us since our very first veggie box- who signed up to our 6 week trial, and who are still with us: thank you! Thank you for trying us out with out knowing who we were. Thank you for telling your friends about it. Thank you for sticking it out through starvation spring, and making it through to late summer and the abundance of Autumn. I hope you’re ready to head back into the green part of the year with us 🙂

To the people who have been eating seasonal for years, who have been supporting other farms, in other areas, and have decided to give us a try; thank you. Thank you for trusting us with your food, and trusting us to farm for you. Thank you for your commitment to keeping your eating in tune with your environment. And for eating what we can grow.

To the people who buy our community boxes, helping us to donate fresh produce every week to the people in our community who need it most; thank you. Thanks for helping our whole community have access to healthy, fresh and ecologically sound veg.

To those of you who pick up boxes from the farm, thank you for not caring when my 2 year old isn’t wearing pants. Thank you for putting up with our slow internet while we figure out your order. Thank you for dodging the puddles, and jumping over the mud. Thank you for listening to me (or Fran) whinge about the weather, rave about a new plant, or tell a not that funny joke.

To those of you who are just starting their fair food journey; Thank you and welcome. Thanks for trusting us to introduce you to seasonal eating, and to local eating. Like many other small farms, we’ve seen lots of new customers in the last month. Covid-19, the panic buying, and the lock downs have all combined to make people really think about where their food is coming from. So if you’re new to us, and to our farm, Thank you. Thanks for trying us out, and giving us a chance. You are where I was 6 years ago; just starting to eat out of a veggie box, that came direct from a local farm. And wow did I find it hard at first!

I like food, and I like cooking, but there were some steep learning curves, and many many google searches to figure out what kohlrabi was, and how to cook daikon radish! It’s taken me years to find a comfortable collection of cabbage recipes, and I’ve only truly mastered celery this season.

I will always miss tomatoes in winter, but I’ve reached a place where the missing just helps me enjoy them all the more while they’re here. I’m not yet at a place where I can go without mango and not feel deprived. If you ever reach that unattainable goal, let me know!!

Eating locally, seasonally and without waste (the heart of eating out of a box) is not an easy thing. But just by signing up you’ve taken the first step. If you need help along this road you’ve chosen- please reach out to us. Ask us for recipe idea, or ideas of how to get your kids involved. Ask us to come out to the farm and see what we do.

Finally, to those who have eaten from our box for a month, or for 6 months, and for whatever reason no longer do, thank you. Thanks for supporting our farm for as long as you were able. Thank you for the company, for the honest feedback, for caring about where your food comes from. We hope you’ve found other small farms to support in your new suburbs, are growing more veg at home to support tighter budgets, or maybe you’re shopping at the supermarket again, but are choosing a few more seasonal items, and a few less imported ones.

The journey to a better food future is not a straight line. And wherever your journey has intersected with ours, and for however long, we’re grateful. We hope to cross your path again in the future.

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