Each saturday morning since January, my alarm slaps me in the face with its rude alert. I put a coffee on the stove and wipe slumber from my face. Man I wish I was still in bed with my warm lady. But I'm up and ready to go. I have a duty. Over the months of veg season, I see the mornings progressively get darker, then cooler, and finally wetter, drizzlier and basically shit house, until the early saturday mornings feel like a mix of an arctic morning slash a frozen Armageddon. I wish the heater in my truck worked a bit better!
I drive down the road to the farm, load up the boxes of vegetables, count them, and then count them again, you can never be too sure. With the load secured, I climb back into the drivers seat, and head down the western highway for Melbourne. On the way down I'm often passed by 16 wheeler semi trailers, on their way delivering grocery food for all the main players, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, IGA etc. My truck seems minute in comparison. In the scheme of things, lets face it, I'm only delivering food to a handful of households in Melbourne. But I love that the opportunity exists for me. I love the interaction with my weekend pickup people. I love seeing the same faces each week, and hearing about how much they've loved eating this real food. The best way to describe the feeling? .....well it's very satisfying. It feels like I have purpose, especially when people say, "thanks for doing what you do, we love this veg". A secret internal tear of joy erupts.
I don't kid myself. I know what I do isn't really making a big difference, but I'm encouraged by the responses from the customers who by the veg. Those guys just get it. And that's how I wanted the veg season to work. I believe that the produce should sell itself. Although I do appreciate the help people have given by sprucing the veg boxes on social media. Keep that coming by all accounts! I love hearing what people have made with the produce, and what they plan to make with it. I love the interaction and friendships that have developed. I love that there are people that just want good fresh food that's not been treated with chemicals. Yes it's officially classed as organic, but set that terminology aside and it's just real honest food, free of the things that we know are not natural (and no doubt have been contributing to many of our health dilemmas these past 50-70 years).
I love hearing about how sweet the carrots where when roasted, and how the cabbage made crispy fresh slaw for a dirty pulled pork feast. I love hearing about how some of the excess veg has been preserved, or shared with friends and neighbours. All round, it gives one a sense of being part of some sort of community. We're all joined by a box of vegetables!
It's cooled right down up here in the Central Highlands. We've already had a few frosts and no doubt there will be more on the way. We have about three weeks left of deliveries before the veg production slows right down to a trickle. I guess I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has support me these past few months. Thank you for spreading the word of mouth. Thank you for coming back each week or fortnight and meeting me on saturday mornings with your smile and gratitude. You make my weekends full of purpose, enough to keep getting me out of bed at 5:30am!
Like I said, there is only a few weeks remaining before we close for the winter, so get your orders in, tell your friends, your mum, your neighbour, the crossing lady. Lets finish up with a bang and put a smile on Farmer Rods face before he retires to his man cave for the oncoming winter.