Updated: Nov 23
If there's something positive to take away from Covid-19, it's the rise in popularity of gardening, in particular edible gardening. Gardening is one of the few health related activities that can not only defy lockdowns, but actually make them bearable! Everyone can join in no matter where they live. We're thrilled to chat to Sales & Marketing Director of Vegepod, Simon Holloway, for our Talking Straight series.
Simon is the Marketing & Sales Director of Vegepod Global, an Australian owned & run brand empowering people around the world to join their 'Grow Your Food' movement. Following their effective win on Shark Tank in 2016, Vegepod’s success spread to wider Australia, & 14 other countries around the world.
SUPR: What does your morning routine look like?
SH: I get up at 4:45am every weekday & either exercise or go for a surf. I then have brekkie, drive up to shedquarters & get stuck into work.
SUPR: What’s one healthy habit you prioritised / embraced during lockdown that you’ll continue as we start to return to normality?
SH: Nothing in particular changed for me “habitually” for lockdown apart from it halting my regular interstate & international travel. Against popular opinion & despite the obvious work-around video calls do indeed provide, I am not a proponent for them, at least in my line of work anyway. I find it overrated. Video-calls are never as good as face-to-face meetings on so many levels & I don’t believe we should maintain its culture beyond lockdown. I do however love the fact that video-calls create less carbon footprint than travel-meetings, but that aside, I’m really looking forward to proper meetings again.
SUPR: What are five things you’ll always have in your fridge / pantry?
SH: Garlic, sea-salt, bananas, coffee beans, beer.
SUPR: What’s your favourite form of movement?
SH: Riding a wave. For decades, the form & soul of surfing have always been disappointingly portrayed in tacky books & films – (mostly by non-surfers)! Tim Winton, my favourite Aussie writer, however is a surfer & we finally had one of our tribe express the action in an eloquent & relatable truth in his seminal novel, Breath … “… it’s blokes dancing themselves across a bay with smiles on their faces & sun in their hair. How strange it is to see men do something beautiful. Something pointless & elegant, as though nobody saw or cared.”
SUPR: What’s the first destination you’d like to visit once we’re allowed to travel again?
SH: Tassie, where half of my family is.
SUPR: What is one fun fact most people wouldn’t know about you?
SH: I was a translator in Yokohama for several years & then continued to work with the Japanese as a dive master in Saipan for a few more years after that.
SUPR: Why is it important to you to be Straight Up & authentic? Have you ever struggled in the past with being your true self?
SH: It’s part of my DNA. If anything, I am too forthright at times. I think this can be misread as confrontational by some, but to me it’s important to be straight-shooting rather than not communicating clearly or being overly concerned about what others may think. It’s a balance though.
Yeah sure, I have struggled with being my true self at times. Who hasn’t in their younger years? I particularly found some years in corporate challenging since, by its very nature, does not encourage people to be their real selves within the workplace.
SUPR: The health industry is constantly adapting to external circumstances. What’s one health trend you predict will remain or appear in 2021?
SH: Well gardening, in particular edible gardening, is all about health – physically, mentally & spiritually. It affects our entire well-being. Gardening is one of the few health activities that can not only defy lockdowns, but actually make them bearable! Everyone can join in wherever they live, whatever the abode.
We have been delighted to witness & indeed be a part of fostering the current garden trend. We do hope it will continue, as many predict, beyond covid & 2021 as people experience & feel all those health benefits for themselves.
Having said that, I am a bit cynical about homo-sapiens & how quickly our species tends to forget even the most important large-scale learnings. Wasn’t World War I “the war to end all wars”? ;) I’m cautiously optimistic that the new gardening awareness won’t wilt so quickly! Grow on everyone!