Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Early morning vegetables and catching up with the Wasses.

Tuesday morning is fruit and veg box delivery day at our house. Before about 7 every Tuesday a nice lady called Maddie leaves a big brown sack of locally grown organic seasonal produce on our doorstep. It's always exciting because you're never entirely sure what you're going to get. As well as the usual carrots and spuds, you always get one or two more unusual items like Jerusalem artichokes or bags of Swiss Chard. So you're not scratching your head wondering what to do with the less familiar things you also get a little sheet with a couple of recipes on them and a bit of information about where the produce was sourced. This week for instance some of our bag comes from Newfield Organics on the edge of the North York Moors at Fadmoor. The farm is run by Howard and Rosemary Wass who were green pioneers in the UK back in the early 1970s. Howard's belief that human activity and hyper-consumption is exacerbating global warming is now the scientific and political consensus. When even the leader of the Conservative Party agrees with the likes of Howard Wass you can be certain that something significant is going on. This year the Wasses developed a belated passion for folk music. Howard purchased 6 CDs by the Derbyshire acapella group Coope, Boyes & Simpson . They listen to them incessantly - in the bath, before going to sleep, whilst doing the chores. They've now learnt all the words off by heart and they provide a backdrop to their constant questioning about how we conduct ourselves and the purpose of our life on the planet. I'm grateful for people like Howard & Rosemary Wass who dare to think and challenge cosy assumptions. It's taken the rest of us 30 years to catch up with the Wasses.
We get our fruit and veg from Farmaround North which was founded by Isobel Davies when she relocated back to her North Yorkshire roots in 2003. Prior to that she was the founder of Farmaround London in 1994 which is a flourishing veg box service in the capital. The original remit of the Farmaround North was North Yorkshire and the North East, but I know for a fact that they now deliver as far afield as Carlisle, Leeds and Sheffield. There is also another local farm which has recently started offering a similar service - Paradise Farm at Howsham.
I wanted to finish this post with a Coope, Boyes & Simpson clip on YouTube but I couldn't find one. So bearing in mind their fascination with industrial songs and mining heritage, I thought Kate Rusby singing 'My Young Man' accompanied by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band would make a worthy substitute.


Diane said...

We can't get those veg delivery things here. The closest is an organic supplier in Sheffield, but so far we've not been able to agree a delivery. It's be great if they could deliver to work, but they won't deliver to our pit village on the very edge of Barnsley.

Martyn said...

That's a shame. It might be worth checking with Farmaround North to see if they have or are planning a local delivery. I think they go as far afield as Sheffield.

Diane said...

You're right - and they'll deliver to my home on a Wednesday or to work on a Friday ... Thanks. :o)