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When I was a little boy, my father used to plant a vegetable garden every year. We always had our own potatoes, onions, carrots, and sometimes cabbage. The planting was always very carefully done and the magical part as a child was the harvest.
This was the most amazing experience, my father would go out and dig the ground to reveal these beautiful balls of white gold. For a child it was pure magic. Searching through the clay for the treasures was fun, I remember it very clearly. I remember eating those freshly picked vegetables and I remember they tasted wonderful.
Last weekend my youngest daughter Ella and I went and harvested the first crop of cherry vine tomatoes, you can’t imagine the delight she had in picking them and the pleasure I had in watching her doing so.
Now as I got older the magic disappeared and finally, after spending days weeding and thining acres of “mangles” (turnips grown for sheep) on my hands and knees, the appeal of growing fresh vegetables was gone. I wanted out, it took many years and a trip through university and a career in the pharmaceutical industry for the love of growing sustainable food to be reignited.
Just the other day, I had a very interesting conversation with a customer and a friend who, over the years, has visited our farm shop religiously week in week out, about sustainable food. He described how his children love fresh organic vegetables, how they recognise the taste of them, how they love when he digs the potatoes and they get to pick them. He described how he feels that the food we eat directly impacts our health and our sense of well-being, how science is finally catching up with what human intuition has been telling us for decades.
With all the diets and healthy eating regimes available, there is one very simple rule to live by, EAT MORE FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES. We all know it instinctively, if we made no other consistent change this would be more than enough to improve our diet (and our health) immeasurably. That was our conclusion.
The shiny packaging and the glitzy marketing of processed food is certainly hard to resist, but it is selling us stuff we don’t need.
I think there is a massive difference in eating freshly harvested food compared with processed food. I don’t think you can really understand it until you try it and then an interesting thing happens, you get used to it and you notice when you stop! It’s like any habit, it takes time to cultivate, but once ingrained it is much easier to sustain.
So we can all be a bit more mindful of our food. We need to eat well and take care of ourselves and the best thing is: when we do take care of ourselves first there is much more of ourselves to give to others.
Eat well and eat more plants.
PS I was overwhelmed with the response to the IRISH box we launched last week (all contents are from our farm or are IRISH) and I wanted to share two other things with you. Firstly, we will be adding a complimentary portion of courgettes with each box next week and we have a fantastic special offer to get your going, simply add the code “freefruit” to get a FREE bag of fruit with every online order over €40 ordered by 28th July.