Blogroll, Reviews, Views
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Vegetables in west Wales and throwing stones in a still pond.

It’s always hard to spoil the whiteness of a blank page with words. It somehow feels like throwing a stone into a very still pond, like you shouldn’t be doing it or you might be doing it wrong. It’s the same sort of feeling you might get when starting a conversation with someone new, or when you start a new job and you’re not sure where things are or who to ask for them. So here’s to my millionth attempt at a blog, to another blank page that I’ve started to scribble on.

I have to admit, I’m tempted to write one of those safe (boring) ‘about me’ posts, in which I recount the story of my life and tell everything you need to know about me, like my favourite colour and season, whether I watch television or read newspapers, and my views on politics and why I’m vegan. Instead, I’m going to write about something I’m quite excited about at the moment. If you know me, you’ll probably roll your eyes and think ‘what else’, as I am known to be somewhat of a vegetable fanatic. I recently discovered a West Wales based company that offers a really good organic veg box delivery scheme. They’re very similar to Abel&Cole, by now a well known (and rightly so) London based company which literally rescued me from plasticky shiny supermarket fruit and vegetables throughout my three years as a student in the big smoke.. sadly they don’t deliver to Wales, or I’d still be their customer.

Llansteffan

Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire

Anyway, I’m talking about the Organic Fresh Food Company. Their website is quite hard to navigate and confusing at first, but well worth the head scratching if you want good, fresh produce from local suppliers, farmers and growers. They have their own box scheme for fruit and vegetables, but you can mix and match from the produce section in the online shop if you prefer to make your own box. I really like the fact that they supply information on where the produce comes from: for example, I was able to buy Welsh organic blueberries off them instead of having to face the dilemma of Tesco’s organic blueberries, which come all the way from South Africa. They also deliver for free on orders over £25, which I feel is quite an honest price: my average spend on fruit and vegetables at Tesco, my current local supermarket, is usually around £20 anyway and local organic produce is hardly ever a choice.

[I sometimes get people telling me that being vegan is oh so very expensive, but what they fail to realise is that I never buy animal derived products: this makes fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains the bulk of my monthly shopping, along with the occasional jar of coconut oil, bag of seeds or packet of nuts. If you compare an omnivore’s spend on vegetables to mine, then yes, you could say that I am spending a lot more on my ‘vegan stuff’. Dairy products, meat and fish, however, are much more expensive and sold in smaller quantities, so my overall spend will never be as much as that of someone who chooses to consume animal derived products. Unless you choose to live off Iceland and Sainsburys basics products.. in which case, I admit that I am spending a lot more on my shopping, but that I am also investing in my health.]

Llansteffan

Llansteffan, Carmarthenshire

Living in Wales is different from London in so many non-obvious ways. It’s peaceful and beautiful and so silent I can almost hear the air moving at night, I don’t wake up to the sound of traffic and airplanes landing in Heathrow, and I’m not caught up in a manic rush of soulless human bodies every time I walk out of my front door. I can breathe in without wheezing and I can enjoy going out for a run after it’s rained, when the air smells of leaves and grass and fresh running water. I love this part of the world, but I do miss London in a strange way. I miss the pulse of human life, the excitement of new things, the endless possibilities of bus routes and my own feet. I miss gallery openings with free wine, bad artwork and new interesting people, bright lights and small cafés with nice coffee that serve avocado on toast and tap water in fancy glass carafes. I recently visited London on a staff trip after not having been there for roughly four months, and I was reminded of how beautiful and savage it is at the same time.

I think I’ll write more about London in the next post, and I’ll also share a little recipe.

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by

Hilary, aged 25 (and counting). I am half Italian, half Welsh, bilingual, bicultural and very much in love with both my cultural heritages. I was born and grew up in Italy with nice wine and friendly people, spent my summers in Wales with fresh air and my wonderful crazy family, then lived in London for three years, graduated in Contemporary Media Practice with First Class Honours and decided to move to West Wales and rediscover the unexplored half of my cultural heritage.

4 Comments

  1. shelley or great aunty Siwsan. says

    Lots of Vegans live here in Pembrokeshire…you should visit sometime…you would be talking to the converted already…you are writing as if you are the first person to discover it.
    You are writing about yourself. I dont think you are informed enough yet in the Macrocosm only in the Microcosm..You could do with meeting.talking and socialising with people who are in the know about food and its His/ Herstory….also when in Wales ….this is not England…does not compare to London…Your blog is a personal journey of your journey with food….To just say you were born on Italy.etc etc…is oncomplete coz you are half Welsh….and with that goes many many things..Heritage …..to much to mention here….so lets have Vegan Recipies….solutions…medicine…..I hope that now you have the introduction done.you will move towards a deeper understanding of your now Welsh invironment and open it up a bit….coz its like a round Robin Letter at xmas ….all about Self……..Pob Lwc….you could always change a Davies habit of a lifetime and move out of your comfort zone and see us in The Preseli Hills where peeps live off the grid on the land..Hope you can handle what my take on it is…..you did ask for comments..
    Heddwch & Chariad ..Peace & Love.
    PS.still await my invite over……me and Luke are tofu makers a d we make Okara from soya bean grits…♡!♡!♡!♡!♡!

  2. Simon says

    Hi. Blogs are not easy, I’ve started several and always baulked at the posting stage – it takes some courage to “put it out there” and let your ripples spread where they will and ignore the naysayers if they pop up. I’m old enough to remember when Abel & Cole started in London and must’ve been one their first customers. It’s amazing how the whole organic movement has progressed since then. Good to hear you have a local scheme there in West Wales – its not just about the quality of the produce of course but the ability to support local producers which in turn can have a real impact on the behaviour of the supermarkets – good all round – maybe I should think about going back to a box scheme !! Funny hearing your comments on London – I was born and grew up there and while I know it intimately, it’s like it’s river, it keeps moving and while you can paddle in it the water is never the same (herodotus?)

    Anyway good luck with the explorations and feel free to visit your 2nd cousin Anna and I in Oxford if you’re in the environs :)

    • Hi Jord, sorry it’s taken me a while to reply (four months in fact). I seem to have forgotten this space. No, I’m not entirely Welsh. Just half of me is. The other half is Italian. I hope this answers your question.

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