Sometimes the best things in life are free – and from your neighbor. That seems to be a theme this week. While my garden may still be launching into its productive phase, some of my neighbors’ gardens are already there.
At my community plot the lady to my left is overrun with ripening blackberries and, as of last week, I’ve been given permission to harvest as many as I please. Since I’ve been dying to find a place in my own garden to let a blackberry bramble go crazy (sadly there really isn’t enough room), I’ve been admiring her blackberries as they have grown over the past year, and was secretly plotting to swipe a cutting or runner at some point. Now I don’t feel the need – since I have and all-access pass to the bountiful bramble next door.
This is the second and third helping of fresh blackberries this week.
As I was walking to my community plot yesterday, a met a new gardener who asked me to help identify a mystery plant in his garden. I put my bets on it being an exotic sunflower, while someone else guessed that it was an eggplant. We’ll see. As a thank-you gift, he offered each of us a zucchini (the poor guy didn’t know better and planted two zucchini plants in spring). Thoughts of Chocolate Zucchini Bread came to mind, and Zucchini Pie , so I willingly accepted the big one.
That’s a kumquat next to it as a reference for size.
Last but not least, I helped my brother and sister-in-law install a 3 x 8 raised bed vegetable garden this past weekend as a birthday gift. On the way out, my sister-in-law offered me a giant bouquet of freshly picked Swiss chard. I’m not kidding, the leaves were as long as my arm. I felt like Miss Veggie America walking to my car (had to put them in the trunk, they were so big). After washing them and cutting the stems off, they barely fit into a now-banned grocery bag.
Many of the leaves had to be folded in half to fit in the bag. Maybe I should have put them in a vase with water instead?
Now my garden isn’t totally out of the running. I’ve been giving away green beans to those in my path this week. It’s a pretty tasty barter system if you ask me. Do you trade veggies with those around you? What’s your favorite thing to get and give? Share it with us here.