February Produce Exchange

It seems to me that there are some great books around on how to grow your own vegetables. The sort that go on about how the average back yard can produce enough to feed a family and so on.. They’re very beguiling in the shops and I’ve bought plenty. The funny thing is I seem to learn more about what to do in my garden in Newstead though the people I meet in the street. The February Produce Exchange is a great example of people talking to people about gardening. Kind of like the bush telegraph. Quick, accurate and concentrated on a local level. Through exchanging fresh produce and preserves, there’s always something new I can learn. Some tip that makes my rocket produce continually, or how to improve my boring plum jam with a vanilla bean pod when boiling, or a great way to catch soldier beetles and slugs in shallow trays of canola oil. Through attending the Produce Exchanges I have met many of the town’s gardening gurus. Thanks to Janet for the staggered rocket seed sewing tip, Della for the great Plum Jam recipe and the neighbours, Chris and Richard for the oily bug solution. (Glad to hear my dog isn’t the only one who makes off with the pest control and drinks it) Funny how the glossy books don’t have the solution I need for my garden here in Newstead, but those I meet on my travels about town are full of advice. The books don’t give me that warm feeling of community either. Thanks to all those who came on the first Saturday morning of the month and swapped their produce. Plenty of plums, peaches and rhubarb this time – as well as Suzie’s perfectly dried onions. Looking forward to a good tomato crop to exchange next month, March 6th at 10:30am under The Red Store veranda. Liz Bell 54 762380

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