Our gloved (and loved!) volunteer teams weigh and pack their way through many kilograms of produce each Thursday at our Lee Green base.
In the near year since I started volunteering with the packing team I too have encountered a lot of organic veg. Among this cornucopia, ranging from the uniformity of onions to the knobbly otherworldliness of the Jerusalem artichoke, I've spotted true originals, works of nature-inspired art. I've seen racy apples and bashful green peppers, curled up as if in self-conscious constriction. I've observed carrots which possess remarkably human features, others which curve and twist like a wizard’s hat and a Byzantine-style one which looked as if it had been designed by an Ottoman architect. They were all magnificent.
This kind of produce, often dubbed as ‘wonky’, appears to be gaining more acceptance among consumers and suppliers but too much is still wasted. The cosmetically perfect, is the ideal and produce deemed aesthetically ‘flawed’ is rejected, at all levels of the food system.
This anxiety about imperfection can filter through at a personal level too in a society which privileges certain kinds of successes. Sometimes I wish we could champion the wonky and unique within us all more often! So here are a few of my favourite veg.
Kieran Mullens, Lee Greens Packing Team