It’s Harvest Time And It Has Got Me Thinking....It's OK to Talk.

As the hay is in and we embark on another harvest, I get to spend a lot of time on a tractor or combine, which as most people know is where I am happiest, and where I do a lot of my thinking. This is worrying for Fliss, Mum, Dad and all the guys and gals in the shop, but never fear as this year although I always have hundreds of ideas that I mull over while mowing or bailing, I have been thinking more about people and how things have changed over the last few years (now I really sound old!). 

Since opening the shop almost nine years ago my life has changed massively, the shop has changed, the farm has changed, how we farm has changed. I have done some growing up and started a family and sadly lost some friends and family along the way, reminding me that both time and family are so very precious. 

One of the main reasons Fliss and I first started talking about and thinking back over the last nine years plus, is that a close friend of the family and friend of Roots embarked on something incredible. Not only training for The London Marathon at the age of 59, but speaking out as part of The Heads Together Campaign. This friend is Philippa Creasy, who grew up in Queniborough and very bravely spoke out about the suicide of her husband,Terry. As well as telling their family storyand reminding us that it is ok to talk, Philippa and two of her four children ran the marathon in memory of Terry. 

This campaign and this years push, not only by the young Royals and many celebrities, but also all charities working with those battling their own minds, has got people talking – you know we British, just brush it under the carpet and crack on, have suddenly allowed ourselves to start talking, openly and honestly, knowing there is help out there. 

I have to admit it, I look at my friends and their amazing lives, their great houses, fancy cars, they seem to have it all. For all I know they think the exact same thing about me, but none of us know what goes on behind closed doors. We see what people want us to see, the filtered ‘Instagram’ snippets people want us to see and believe. This just makes it harder for us to believe what could be reality for people – if I blame social media for the part it plays in this I really will sound old! 

My thoughts lead me to think about the shop, and how I can’t even begin to guess customer numbers that have walked through the doors in almost a decade. Or comprehend struggles people may be up against. When someone simply buys a sack of spuds or sits and has a coffee none of us would know if they were struggling with day to day life. We see customers who we are very happy to have shopping at Roots and can only hope we offer a friendly, safe environment for people to come and be themselves. All of my thinking has made me grateful for a great team in the shop, that love what they do and our customers, they know a smile goes a long way and that they make our shop a family. 

We have already raised money this year for some very worthwhile causes and this year’s Harvest charity was causing us a little trouble – but of course it was staring us in the face. With the Creasy Family as our inspiration we have chosen to support Heads Together with our money going to CALM, the Campaign against living miserably and MIND. 

So please put Saturday 23rd September in your diary, as we think we are putting on our best event yet. We will have our 

biggest Table Top Sale of the year, and have already seen some amazing bargains in the previous events. So here’s hoping I can keep Mum and Fliss away from the stalls this time, or we may need a table at the next one!! 

There will also be bouncy castles, games, farm animals, pony rides and The Brilliant Barkby Bake off – oh yes, if you can bake you need to enter this! There will be live demonstrations throughout the day, Chainsaw carvings by Mark Taylor and the Mackays Fish and Chip van as well as a cheeky pint on offer. We also have entertainment by the wonderful Phat Chance (they are so good we had them at our wedding!) So there will be singing, dancing and knowing these boys the odd joke thrown in along the way, I wonder if they will be any good at welly wanging? 

After all that we will need a rest, but not on the Sunday (24th) as we are hosting the RABI Harvest Service in our front field, the perfect end to a perfect weekend – then maybe a rest! 

See you soon at Roots 

George x