Friends with Gluts

Veggies

I know a few people that grow their own veg either at home or at the allotment, and it seems that having a network of friends that grow their own really does have its benefits. Namely, gluts and wanting to get rid of them.

My friend Cheryl took on an allotment last year, and this year has been doing phenomenally well with her growing. So much so that I got a Facebook message virtually pleading me to come pick up some spaghetti squash from four plants she’s been madly harvesting. I arrived on her doorstep and was presented with two good sized squash, and a couple of fat beetroot. “You want some beans?!” Cheryl asked (implored). She led me to her kitchen, where she had a bag stuffed full of yellow wax beans. “We’ve had four bags like this, this week,” she said, clearly unsure of what you can do with four bags of yellow wax beans. “Here, have some. Take them!”

Earlier that day, my mum had also sent me home with a freshly picked pointed cabbage, so between my ‘free’ hauls I have amassed a load of meals in the making. I’m not a massive fan of boiled beetroot, so I may have a go at pickling it (adversely, I LOVE it pickled) or maybe grating it to make into some kind of beetroot and root vegetable-based veggie burger. One of the spaghetti squash is in the oven as I type, and the cabbage was already put to good use in our weekly Sunday Roast last night. And I’ve already rooted out a recipe for the wax beans which will make the most of my soon-to-be-harvested Cristo garlic.

Walking home with a bag of fresh produce really got me thinking… what if I knew even more people who had gluts and food to share? When my crops harvest, I only hope I am able to share out some of the goodies, although with the relatively small amount we have growing this year, I’m not sure I will. Mum has already got her eye on my raspberries for her baking. But friends (and family) with fruit and vegetable gluts are just so willing to palm off their excess, and it really helps save the pennies and the pounds. If there were more of us in the local area who grew lots of different varieties of vegetables (no more courgettes, thanks), then the sharing and swapping of the gluts would mean that everybody could benefit without having to give a penny to the greedy supermarkets.

It would be a great way to live, and to relieve some of our reliance on the supermarkets. I guess it works that way in micro-networks like allotment holders anyway, but imagine it working on a local scale, or even regionally… not a penny spent, just produce swapped and we all walk away with freshly grown seasonal veg and many meals to plan.

 

 

Comments

  1. Lucky you, you’ve been given some lovely produce. We have a place at our allotment site where you can leave any excess stuff for others to take. I’ve had some really nice things from there, including old tools and plants. It’s lovely to pass things on to people who’ll really appreciate them.

    • That sounds great! I think I need to investigate more because I’m sure there’s a way that everyone in my local area can benefit… I have also been thinking about doing an honesty box IF I have any surplus, but I’ve kept my growing minimal this year so I’m not anticipating too much extra harvest. But maybe it’s something to bear in mind next year…

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