Reader call-out: Celebrate your food and farming heroes

It's our fifth birthday this September and we want to celebrate by sharing your positive stories in food and farming. Enter for your chance to be published in the next issue.

The next print edition of Wicked Leeks is underway, and as publication in September also coincides with our fifth birthday, we want to celebrate by hearing from you – our wonderful reader community.

While the need for change across our food system can feel vast and overwhelming, there is also so much fantastic progress being made. We’re asking you to tell us about someone or something that you feel needs celebrating in food and farming. It could be your local butcher who goes the extra mile, a school food volunteer, your local community farm or just someone who inspires you in the kitchen.

Reader letters or comments can be posted under this article and we will select a few of the best to be published in the magazine and our absolute favourite will also win a month’s worth of Riverford large organic seasonal veg boxes*. Share your story, message or nomination before 2 August to be in with a chance of winning.

Let the celebration commence!

*T&Cs: must live within a Riverford delivery area for this to apply.


Leave a Reply

  1. I would like to nominate David and the team at Groobarbs Wild Farm in Cheshire (
    I appreciate that they are probably a competitor of yours, but they have been providing fresh, seasonal produce to me and my family for several years now. I particularly appreciate that the food only travels a short distance from their farm to my home, which means it has a lower carbon footprint and is also super-fresh when it gets to me.
    They champion all things veg and I love the weekly recipe inspiration and David’s thoughts about what is going on at the farm that comes in your box each week.
    I think they deserve to be celebrated because, in a quiet way, they are teaching me all about the challenges of farming, dealing with the weather, looking after soils, why it is important to eat seasonally and what they are doing to be more sustainable. I trust them completely because – like Riverford – I know they care about what they grow and how they grow it as much as I care about what I eat (and I don’t want to eat pesticides, herbicides, hormones etc).
    And finally, they deserve to be recognised because they have reminded me how fabulous really good veg should taste. I hope to never have to return to supermarket veg again.
    Thank you Groobarbs!

  2. I would like to nominate Laura Stratford, Coordinator of the Greater Lincolnshire Food Partnership. It’s dramatically grown as an organisation over the last few years in terms of geography and numbers of members and partners, far too many of which are food banks in this unfashionable and disregarded corner of the East Midlands (one of the 10 most deprived regions of northern Europe). The need is stratospheric. Laura copes with a burgeoning work load with unending good cheer and dedication, always seeking to improve the region’s food system through practical and creative ways. From helping to fundraise £10k for an exceptional food bank in just one night at Lincoln Cathedral by producing Boston: a Food Story – a photo essay on Boston, where poverty, obesity and mental health issues coalesce, to organising workshops for bakers and local wheat farmers to develop a nutritious bread ecosystem in the county, to supporting unique and critical research by an LSE academic into the impact of the climate crisis on fresh produce farming in the south of Lincolnshire, with all its implications for food security. Laura’s commitment is exceptional and the region is lucky to have her.

  3. I would like to nominate Sana Stephens and her team at Timber in Ringwood. Her beautiful, healing and welcoming fairtrade, ethical and organic food shop was born over 25 years ago and it is my ‘go to’ place for olive oil refills, aromatherapy oils, colourful clothes and furnishings, crystals, CDs, gifts and, most especially organic fresh food! Sana has such energy and commitment. During lockdown, Sana’s bespoke box deliveries were a lifesaver, with local, in-season veg, fruit and eggs, store cupboard essentials and household goods. Timber’s order form drops into my inbox every Thursday for the Tuesday delivery and I swear the list of good on offer gets longer every week! Exotic mushrooms, microgreens, sourdough, local honey are just a few recent additions! This week, I am loving the rainbow radishes, rocket and fresh raspberries. I work till 5pm but I can collect my delivery from the Southbourne hub, which is a short detour on my drive home. When I can, I visit Timber’s Tuesday morning organic food market outside (under cover if wet) the shop. It is a great place to meet all the other Timber fans from far and wide!
    The Timber Community also brings people together for health-related talks and to share opportunities to get involved in other local and larger community building initiatives. Over the last 6 years or so since I moved to the area, Sana and Timber have transformed my life and I am so grateful! 🙏

  4. i would like to nominate the whole volunteere team at Foodcycle Peterborough who work so hard every Monday to produce a delicious 3 course vegetarian nutricious meal for those in need in our community. They use the surplus food from local shops and farms including Riveford at Sacrewell for which we are extremely grateful.
    The food we receive is always a surpise which can be challengng but there is always a wondeful meal on the table by 12.30. We also share our recipes and cooking tips to guests who need help in that way.

  5. I’d like to celebrate our daughter Kate’s incredible achievement in persevering with her dream and building her vertical indoor farm in Kent. is now producing bags of delicious salad leaves without any pesticides (it can’t be called organic as it is not grown in soil and therefore does require fertiliser). GrowUp might be considered a competitor of Riverford but I believe you both share a sustainable ethos and vision for the future. We’re so proud of what Kate and her team have accomplished after 10 years of solid grind.

  6. I have so many people who I’d like to mention. However to not be too greedy I’ll keep it to 3ish)

    Roger from Whitelake cheese. He’s so passionate about his cheese and a fantastic person. He loves to experiment with new artisan cheeses and is forever getting people into share his kitchen to dream up new ways of using cheeses. As a replacement for cream with strawberries?!? I love it. I don’t know how much he’d want to share this but he also donates any cheeses not fit for sale (but still perfectly delicious) to community fridges in the area.

    David from Wraxall Vineyard. David is new to growing and making wine but he’s bought a vineyard and is doing tremendous things to improve the health of the vines and build a brand that attracts people to the area. He’s hired a bunch of lovely people and built a tasting venue that is an incredible resource for the area… he has really kindly let me organise an event called “Feed The Chef” there, bringing local food producers and chefs together, with the hope of getting more local produce on more local menus 🙂

    Paul from Black Bee Honey. The team at Black Bee Honey have worked really hard to get B-Corp certification. They produce single origin, British honey and are really championing the industry and bee keepers across the country. I love their product and will use any excuse to use it… salad dressings, meat glazes, on toast, LOTS OF TOAST.

    I’d also love to champion Hugh from The Frome Food Network who has done a fantastic job creating a network for Frome based farmers/growers/producers and many more of us that fall into “other”. Through the network I’ve met so many amazing people involved with the food ecosystem, been on farm tours, and have really found my tribe… a group of people that want to do better with food for people, planet and pocket (that’s my manifesto!)

  7. Can I return the favour and nominate Vicky Hunter-Frigerio, who authored the above comment? For a couple years now, she’s been championing small-scale producers from Somerset – particualrly those wanting to be kinder on nature and the land – who otherwise have relatively little marketing clout and therefore relatively little profile in the UK or even the South West.

    In that vein, she’s also championing the county as a whole – as her comment suggests, there are some brilliant producers ’round here, but Somerset doesn’t exactly have that reputation, and not many apart from Vicky (not even the local tourist board) seem keen to address that.


In case you missed it

Read the latest edition of Wicked Leeks online

Issue 12: Fairness and five years.

Learn more

About us

Find out more about Wicked Leeks and our publisher, organic veg box company Riverford.

Learn more