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CREATIVE PROCESS WITH JUDITH WINFREY OF PEACHDISH

Judith Winfrey is an Atlanta native with a deep connection to the land and an extensive knowledge of farming. Her work with various organizations in Georgia has created a great impact on the state’s slow food culture. Judith was co-founder of Community Farmers Markets—developed to create a local food infrastructure to impact the community in a meaningful way— along with Wholesome Wave Georgia, a group that works to increase a greater circle of access to reasonably priced local foods. She and her husband, Joe Reynolds, founded Love is Love Farm in 2008. Love is Love is located at Gaia Gardens in Decatur, Georgia, where it serves to mentor young farmers through providing community supported agriculture with a focus on servant leadership. Joe currently runs the farm as Judith is the founder and creative mind behind the Atlanta-based meal kit delivery service, PeachDish.

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Photo credit (left): Kate Blohm for PeachDish

PeachDish has a “farm-to-table” approach and sends out over 2,000 meal kits per week, each one based upon the seasonal harvest availability; they currently work with about 200 farmers and focus on organic offerings, whenever possible. Overall, PeachDish ships to kitchens in each of the 48 continental states. You can purchase PeachDish gift cards in varying amounts, which would make a wonderful holiday gift. Visit here for more information.

We had the opportunity to ask Judith some questions recently. Keep reading to learn more about Judith, her creative process, and her inspirations

AC: Do you have any creative rituals?

JW: Yes!  It’s important to me to stay both grounded and in communion with my higher self.  I have a daily morning ritual that consists of study, journaling, meditation, and a good long walk with my two dogs.  It gives me perspective and helps me set intention for the day.

AC: What makes you curious?

JW: The natural world.  Currently, I’m very curious about the sentience of trees and epigenetics. Free will and whether or not we actually have it. I’m also perpetually curious about communication — when it does and doesn’t work and how and why. Extrasensory perception. Telepathy.

AC: What do you daydream about?

JW: World Peace. Throwing big, extravagant parties for my friends. Gardening again. Travel. Having tea with Alice Walker.

AC: How important is education to your creative process?

JW: Very important. Education stimulates new ideas. New ideas are the beginning of creativity. Education doesn’t have to be formal. Podcasts are education. Art Museums, concerts, conversations, documentaries, films, basking in someone else’s wisdom — all of these are education. The best education nourishes the soul as well as the mind.

AC: Do you have processes or tricks to spur creativity?

JW: You can’t force flow. If I’m really struggling, the best thing I can do is walk away, and do something else for a while. Creativity is like a spring. All the right conditions must be in alignment for the vent to boil. My job is to get out of the way; make sure that there’s not too much clutter; take care of my body and my mind so that energy and ideas can stream to me and through me.

AC: Do you have to be in a certain mood in order to create?

JW: I need quiet. Solitude is good, too. I don’t think I have to be in a certain mood, but my mood will impact the quality of what I create.

AC: Nature or nurture? Do you imagine creativity is part of human nature or must it be learned?

JW: Nature. For sure. I think creativity is innate. However, I think we can and should nurture creativity in ourselves and, especially, in children. It’s tragic when people are conditioned not to be creative. Creativity for me is essential. It’s freedom. It’s an expression of joy.

AC: What is the difference between an idea or a product being interesting and being creative?

JW: Well, history is interesting, but it’s never creative. I guess action is the difference. Action and newness or innovation.

AC: What have been some of the most successful campaigns you have launched? Why did you feel successful?

JW: We launched an organic farm, Love is Love Farm. It’s ten years old. That’s been successful. It has fed thousands over the years. It gives us an opportunity to care for and commune with a piece of land. It has given us an incredible community of employees and partners.

I helped launch an organization called Wholesome Wave Georgia that makes healthy food more accessible by doubling the value of SNAP benefits at Farmers Markets and supporting Fruit and Vegetable prescription programs in Georgia. Over the years, we’ve raised millions of dollars and made millions of dollars worth of fresh healthy food accessible to all Georgians. Of course, launching PeachDish has been my greatest endeavor and my greatest success.  I am so proud of the incredible product delivered every week. I’m proud of (and grateful for) our thousands of loyal customers. I am most proud of and grateful for the incredible team that keeps the whole thing going every week.

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Photo credit: Kate Blohm for PeachDish

AC: How do you define success?

JW: Staying alive and thriving.

AC: If your creative process or project isn’t productive, at what point do you cut your losses? Or is there a point? Do you keep pressing on?

JW: That’s difficult to determine. An important indicator is one’s own joy. If the project still brings joy, it’s worth continuing. If it’s not really productive and it’s draining your life force, then it’s time to put it aside — at least for a moment or two. When it’s time for something to die. I think you just know. You have a peace about it.  You can still grieve, but the grief is release not resistance.

AC: What parts of your work seem the “heaviest” and the “lightest”?

JW: Managing cash flow is the heaviest. Managing people is the lightest.

AC: What parts of your imagination seem the “heaviest” and the “lightest”?

JW: The fearful, worrisome side of my imagination is the heaviest. I try not to spend time there. The lightest aspect of my imagination is connected directly to spirit. I am often working on recognizing the guidance that is direct from the source versus my own ego-based ideas. It’s a subtle difference, sometimes, but it’s important. Our egos can really create havoc if we let them lead.

AC: Does spirituality play a role in your creativity?

JW: Yes. Spirit is the mothership.

AC: What makes you nervous?

JW: Seeing people get injured. I can’t watch violent movies because of it.

AC: In what ways would you want to change your imaginative spirit?

JW: I’d like it to be more outlandish. Dream bigger and bolder.

AC: Is there something that can halt your creativity? Distractions, fears, etc.? Have you found a way to avoid those pitfalls?

JW: Social media is not only a big-time manipulator; it’s also virtually useless.  It will quickly rob me of creativity. I try to limit my screen time.

AC: Have you ever censored your imagination or creativity because you don’t want to offend anyone? If so, how?

JW: I don’t think I’ve censored my imagination. Just because you think or create something, doesn’t mean you have to share it.

AC: If you had to start over, would you choose a different path in your career?

JW: I would have trusted myself more and sooner. I had this idea that most people knew more and better than me.  I was wrong in most cases.

AC: If you were no longer able to use the medium that you are now working in, how else would you express your creativity?

JW: I would like to have a huge ornamental garden.

AC: Do you critique your own work?

JW: Yes. Nothing is ever perfect and there is always something to learn.

AC: Has rejection ever affected your creative process?

JW: Rejection has hindered both my creativity and my productivity.

AC: Who do you define as a visionary?

JW: Visionaries come in so many different forms. Clarence Jordan was a visionary. Marina Abramović is a visionary. So is every immigrant everywhere and everyone who escapes a dysfunctional relationship (with themselves or someone else).  My mom, Dixie Eloise Alvarez Winfrey, is a visionary. She would never identify that way, but she is.

AC: What last made you think, “I wish I had thought of that!”

JW: Patagonia’s official response to the 2016 election was pretty brilliant.

AC: If you were to become a professor, what classes would you teach?

JW: The Power of Positive Thinking.

AC: What are your favorite things to do? What do you distinctly NOT like to do?

JW: I love walking. I love cooking with my husband. I love music. I don’t like picking up my dogs’ poop. I don’t like waiting in line.

AC: Is there one single act that can open your imaginary mind?

JW: Meditation.

AC: Which ones of your products and/or services inspire you the most?

JW: Our meal kits change every week. I’m always inspired to see how our customers integrate them into our lives. We have some customers who cook with us every week and they often post pictures of their meals. It makes me so happy.

AC: Are there parts of your life that you always make a priority? That you struggle to make a priority?

JW: My morning ritual is always a priority. When you’re the boss, a lot of people get your time. Making time for myself first thing ensures that I get in self care.

AC: Where does inspiration come from? Where does inspiration live?

JW: Inspiration can come from anywhere. Colors are inspiring to me. Music is inspiring. Inspiration lives at the feet of the master.

AC: Where does imagination come from? Where does imagine live?

JW: Imagination comes from the ether. Imagination lives in the galaxy and beyond.

(This project is made possible in-part by a fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts)

Lead photo credit: Kate Blohm for PeachDish

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