January Gardeners Swap Meet: Zucchini, Cabbage & Boxes of Bulbs

in #homesteadinglast year


Dan has the biggest cabbage I have ever seen. We all coo over them - Jamie has to grab a knife from the van to divide them for us all. I ask if he has a market garden as he brings a big box of zucchinis and squash too. Nope, he says. I just love growing stuff and giving it away. I give him some huge heads of garlic to plant in return. He doesnt stay to chat but dashes off happily.


This is our fourth garden meet up, and some stay to chat for the duration, and some dash in and dash out with barely a word, such as whoever left these gorgeous radish pickles which I grabbed, whilst someone else took the homemade chilli sauce and zucchini pickle. Brian, who I gift a few early cherry tomatoes for seed, is devastated there are no scones this week. I console him by giving up my white lavender I had just grabbed off Tony, on the proviso he has cuttings ready for me for next Spring.


Mary, who gave me an old esky last week for selling eggs out the front of my place, brings a big box of white jonquil bulbs and some blue bell bulbs, which remind me of woodlands in England in spring. Not everyone takes them and I end up with the remainder which I will put at my front gate with a for free sign.



There is lettuce and spring onions, lots of herbs and a few small plants too. I bring eggs, garlic and huge bunches of Vietnamese mint. Lorraine agrees to run it while I am away, because this group has become such a community event no one wants to see it go when I am travelling. I have printed off flyers for 8 months in advance!

We talk about wicking beds and veggie spiralisers, pistachios and almonds, bees and calendula. We swap recipes and ideas, drink coffee and chai from the cafe across the road, and have a good laugh. People are finally getting the hang of this event- it does not matter what or how much you bring, but only that you join in the spirit of community abundance.

If you are in doubt about creating a garden group in your area but really want to, get in touch. It is one of the best things I have done in the last year, and I am really proud of my achievement. We all enjoy it immensely as well as having food to bring home - all for free. The only cost is a bit of thoughtfulness and an hour or two of time. This kind of thing is becoming more common as we turn away from big supermarkets and create a more independent, resilient and healthy life.

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A great idea. You write so well 😊

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Planning my move out to the country in about 3 years...hope nature life can wait for me!

IF it can't, you'll have to make it!


Gardens, apart from the obvious natural health and economic benefits, and SUCH a glorious remedy for sadness, grief, stress and general melancholy.

Yay you for putting such an optimistic post out after Sally's passing this week. I know that took a lot out of you.

Reminded - again and again - of the circle of life. Of seeds and compost, pruning, flowers and fruits.

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Nature always gives us the best lessons!!!

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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I love this initiative, so inspiring! he says, and thinks of his balcony.

To be honest, I bought a house without a garden, on purpose, as I felt I would move here to focus on creativity. In my ( near ) future I will probably be digging in a vegetable garden somewhere though


Pots! Pots!

Does your sister have room for a garden? Veggies are cheap in Portugal though right?

My twin sister has an acre of terraced garden. A huge chunk is being grazed by sheep though, another part as a playground for her kids and space for a camper van and guest house. There was an attempt at a vegetable garden last summer but it has disappeared temporarily. There's definitely possibilities for the future, also close to my house. I just don't wanna commit to it, until I feel I can spend most of the year out here. Working on it, getting there :>)