Meet the Team
Richard Plowright (Plowright Organic partner)
I have always been interested in small scale organic vegetable growing, supported by and feeding a local community of people. I think it goes deep, but a seed was certainly sown in me when reading Schumakers “Small is Beautiful” years ago. The concept of community supported agriculture, which is what we do, lit a fire in me, the power of which is hard to describe, but which has provided the drive to establish this small business over the past 17 years. Before that I had worked in agricultural research after completing a Ph.D. study of clovers and one of their soil borne nematode pests, in Aberystwyth in the 1980s.
It has been an incredible journey of joy, suffering and discovery. I feel honoured to have been moulded by the land, its’ inhabitants and the weather, into an organic grower over a decade and a half of economic and climatic turbulence. I put my heart and soul into the vegetables you eat and I know that I have a team of people who are equally committed. This is not a lifestyle choice, this is serious stuff.
Remke Cool (Plowright Organic partner)
I was brought up eating and growing organic fruit and veg in my parent's garden (we also ate indoors). My brothers and I had our own patches to grow what we liked, and I remember focusing quite heavily on bluebells for some time.
It was after a spell working on biodynamic farms in The Netherlands and in Switzerland that my interest in organic farming, particularly organic livestock production, really developed. I studied agriculture at Aberystwyth, where the Welsh Institute of Rural Studies had an organic farming unit and Professor Nick Lampkin was researching organic farming methods.
I worked in organic pig production for a few years and then got a nice warm, dry office job at the Soil Association, where I met Richard. After the initial novelty of being dry and smelling nice wore off, I began to find myself gazing longingly out at the outdoors, so I happily joined Richard in his organic growing venture. We started growing part-time and delivering veg boxes to colleagues at work, and thanks to Richard's inspiring grit determination and numerous talents in all things practical, we are still growing. Over the years, the energy and enthusiasm of our team has been invaluable to help drive developments forward.
My role/specialism now is 'veg box contents and quality control', while raising our two girls but I am looking forward to getting back into the field. I love organic growing, taking care of our patch of land and producing delicious, healthy food.
Adam Keeve (assistant grower)
While studying for a degree in environmental science at Brighton University, I worked at various community gardens. The projects were predominantly educational and therapeutic for both children and adults. As well as being a lot of fun, they showed me the positive impact that food production and healthy food can have on individuals and communities. I've been an assistant grower with Richard since September 2014 and am still learning every day, building on my knowledge and unhealthy obsession with vegetables. Growing has given me a sense of satisfaction no other job has, working with my hands outdoors all year round. I believe that many of the core issues of today could be resolved by a more localised, seasonal, organic food production system.
Owen Cool (assistant grower)
I'm Remke's younger brother. Our parents met at a biodynamic gardening college and consequently we spent many miserable hours weeding and picking red currants in the midges (in Scotland) as children. Growing vegetables was low on my list of career choices at this point and so I decided to study music in Manchester. However, a couple of years ago I came to help out on the farm for a month after the birth of Bess (my niece) and to my surprise, found that I loved the work. Organic, local and seasonal vegetables are the way forward.
Jenny Cheese (veg box packer)
I first discovered Stowey Rocks Farm about five years ago while out walking my dog, Harley, in nearby woods. After a few years of regularly using the farm shop I took the plunge and signed up for a weekly veg box delivery. Not being from a farming background, but fascinated by the 'real' vegetables I was receiving, I jumped at the chance to join the team early in 2015 as a veg box packer. I enjoy learning about organic veggies and farming processes, and hearing scary stories about 'toxic veg' from Richard!
Joel Tait (delivery driver, customer administration)
I left a career in recruitment and training after reading about peak oil and climate change. I was originally drawn to the idea of perennial, multi storey food systems but I found the alternative: a local, organic veg box scheme. I’m proud to be working for a cause I believe in and am very glad to see the company growing in popularity. I love traversing the county and meeting a wide range of folk, delivering boxes and selling fresh produce at Minehead farmers’ market. I'm delighted to be collecting a sizeable bank of recipes and nutritional tips from customers along the way.
Lily Farmer (veg box packer, market stall holder)
As a lover of fresh and nutritious food, being part of the Plowright Organic team is a real treat. My work here involves packing the weekly veg boxes and holding the market stall in Minehead every Friday. My passion in life is food. Through my work here I am able to fully experience and understand the relationship between our seasons and our diets. This has led me into the world of preserving, fermenting and other culinary experiments, which I look forward to bringing to the Plowright table in the near future.
Dillon (apprentice grower)
I joined the team after working some trial days for my apprenticeship. I quickly found that organic farming was a very natural fit for me, having always been passionate about nature and working manually outdoors. While working with Richard and Adam, I have learnt a lot about organic growing and have come to realise how important it is in so many ways. Cooking with really fresh, seasonal ingredients and thinking about the meals I eat has become a new joy of mine, since working on the farm, and my family appreciate all the meals I’m making. I am looking forward to learning more and developing a career in organic growing.