Friday, 17 February 2017

A forgotton Art

I have been reading a lot of “frugal” blogs lately.  All seem to agree that growing your own stuff is a big factor in paring down costs. 


As I have mentioned before I was unable to put in a proper summer vegetable garden due to my accident.  I do have stuff growing, that some friend planted for me when I was in hospital.  One of them was broccoli.  They put in 12 plants and now I have a massive glut.  I could freeze it but as I have a small freezer and I can grow it all year round, it seems a wasted effort.  But, it has worked out well...   While I was waiting for the bus last week, a neighbour popped out and asked whether I wanted any zucchini (my friend never put any zucchini in), would I ever, for some reason they are still expensive in the shops.  In the conversation, I mentioned I had a glut of broccoli, her eyes lit up.  So a swap was made.  She also mentioned that she only grew strawberries and zucchinis these days (she is in her 80’s), and that she was tired of eating strawberries every day. Well my strawberry patch was useless this year due to lack of attention in the spring.  But my blackberries are going to be a massive crop this year.  So we arranged that I will have some of her strawberries and give her some of my blackberries when they ripen. 


This made me think, in my childhood, I remember the neighbors swapping stuff with my parents, someone had lots of apple trees and we had lots of plum trees and so on.  So, as an experiment I knocked on a neighbour’s door who has a peach tree in her front garden with peaches rotting on the ground.  I asked her if she would mind if I took some peaches and I could give her some of my apples or plums when they were ready.  Well she almost gave me a huge hug!  The peach tree was there when she moved in and didn’t want to chop it down as it provided some shade in the summer, but she can’t stand peaches!  But she loves apples, so a swap was arranged, I have peaches and when my apples are ready I will supply (I have 3 apple trees so it will be no hardship!).  Now I have 3 baskets of peaches to preserve, and more to come.  She also told me that she had planted too many tomatoes, would I like some.  Yes I would, would she like some free range eggs as a friend from the country always brings me a dozen every week in exchange for some editing and graphic design of a newsletter for her business.  Yes she would.



The moral of all of this is even if you can’t grow something or your crop has failed for some reason the old barter system is a wonderful way to be thrifty.  It has a plus side, it is a way to get to know your neighbours and create a caring community feel that is fast disappearing from modern life.


Another thing I have learnt in the last week or so, where there is a will there is a way!  I have been desperate to get out into the garden and get on with preparing my Autumn and Winter vegetable plot.  Being on crutches has hindered that desire, not any longer I have discovered that spades and forks make wonderful crutches and I can garden after a fashion!!  It is tiring but I can do it and it is amazing that 10 minutes actually adds up quite quickly.  Luckily my hips are quite good and bending is not a problem.  I am also sure that it will be good for the healing process as well.

Well that is it for today, hope to see you soon.
Sharon

12 comments:

  1. You're amazing Sharon! Good for you! You'll have your pantry stocked with all sorts of wonderful things with your bartering. Our neighbor lets us pick her apples and pears and we give her some of our produce. Another neighbor swaps her flower plants for some of our asparagus. Good job! Hope you will soon be throwing away those crutches!

    Hugs
    Jane

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    1. Thanks Jane. My shelves are already starting to look interesting - plum jam and preserved plums. Rhubarb and ginger jam. Elder flower cordial and my neighbour and a friend both brought me zucchinis enough for me to make zucchini pickles. Plus the peaches I have just preserved. I am a tired but happy girl! I hope to be throwing those crutches away too, I am hoping when I see the surgeon next week he will give the okay for me to ditch one of them!

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  2. Hi Sharon, I have hopped to you from Jane, and love the bartering, swapping or exchanging. We often have too much of one vege or fruit, and it is so good to give. And guess what???? I am in NZ, just over the hill, and the river, so to speak, in the Rangitikei. If we wander over to " The'Rapa " I hope we can catch up. Maybe a little later on, as we , if all goes well, will have feijoas galore !!! Do you like them? How is your leg? I have a large brace on one knee, a sprained ligament, finally have a specialist appt., but not needing crutches, the trusty walking stick my Dad made for me way back in 1982 has been in use a lot. Heat wave for 3 days running, over 31C, and today still 25C indoors. Take care, Jean ( aka Nancy J ).

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    1. Hi Jean, great to see another kiwi blogger, there are not too many of us are there! Of course you must pop in if you are wandering through Masterton. I love Feijoas, do you like figs? I just back from my Grocery shop and boy it was stifling well over 30 in my Washhouse and that doesn't get the sun. I have compression fracture in my ankle and heel, a slow healing process that is not helped by my Rheumatoid Arthritis!
      Keep cool and thanks for your visit once again.

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  3. Hi Sharon, I, too, have come over from Jane's blog; sorry to hear that you've had an accident and need crutches, but look at you gardening and everything, in spite of it all! And what a lovely thing you are doing, with your bartering. I wish more of us did that. I take surplus lemons from my garden and leave them at my workplace for anyone to help themselves, but that's not really bartering, is it? Hope you recover from your accident quickly and completely. Take care.

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    1. Thanks for your visit. What you do with your lemons is giving and that is even better in my book.

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    2. Thanks for your visit. What you do with your lemons is giving and that is even better in my book.

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  4. I jumped over from Jane's blog, too.

    What a great way to fill your pantry! You are totally right. When I was a child everyone seemed to trade based on what they had. Someone who fished might trade seafood, someone who hunted might trade game, and the gardeners always had tons of things to trade.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, trading is fun too you get to met the neighbours, and chat instead of a quick hi as we go about our business.

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  5. Greetings from beautiful Charleston, S.C., Sharon! Surfed in through Janes and wanted to say hi and let you know I'd been here! Very interesting blog!

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    1. Thanks for your visit and welcome.

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    2. Thanks for your visit and welcome.

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