Tash joined the Lee Greens delivery team during lockdown last year and has thrived ever since, becoming our social media manager and a regular member of Thursday's volunteer packing team. Last month Tash also installed Lee Greens' first ever Bokashi bin!
Tell us about your experience at Lee Greens
Volunteering at Lee Greens has been, if not a life saver then at least a sanity saver for me! After the first lockdown in 2020 my mental health had taken a real hit. My self esteem was at rock bottom and I was feeling a little lost when my sister asked if I would like to take over from her as delivery co-pilot for Lee Greens on Thursdays. Initially I was extremely nervous about meeting new people and taking on the responsibility, but weekly pep talks and unrelenting support from Paula and the rest of the team not only made me feel like part of the crew, but has also done wonders for my self esteem! It’s all very clichéd but I was saved by the veg!
Favourite vegetable to pack
I love to be at the beginning of the packing line, dealing with the spuds and carrots - the dirty veg. The speed of packing at the start of the line sets the pace for the rest of the team so it really is a position of power. You just have to be able to handle unfolding the veg bags at the same time!
I also like dealing with the spuds because I LOVE spuds! They’re such a homely, versatile food stuff. You can, to quote Samwise Gamgee, boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew. And make chips, roasties, dauphinois, latkes, chaat, and my personal favourite - leek and potato soup! You may think you don’t like them, or that they’re boring, but I’d say you just haven’t found the right spud yet!
Has volunteering changed your opinion about vegetables?
Thanks to my mum I have never fallen for the supermarket standards of perfect veg, but working with organic veg at Lee Greens really has cemented my belief that there really isn’t anything wrong with the wonky ones! And, in fact, I’ve come to realise that the pursuit of perfection in any aspect of life can often be more hassle than it’s worth - much better to enjoy life in all its ‘perfect’ IMperfection.
Tell us some more about yourself
I’ve had a proper go at growing my own veg this year as I’ve finally been able to get an allotment! My planting list for next year is partly inspired by some of the amazing veg we get at Lee Greens (I’ve even saved seeds from a few of them!) and I’ve been using the product of our experimental Bokashi bins to enrich the soil in my no-dig beds!