VEGETABLE SWAP

Another great thing about participating in the community garden is that everyone plants something different.

Recently, one of our neighbors gave me a tour of his garden.

“I eat while I work,” he said, reaching down, picking a sprig of parsley and eating the leaves. He gave another branch to me.

“Don’t you have to wash it first?” I asked.

“Why?” he said. “There are no chemicals on the plants, just rain water.”

I politely chewed and swallowed.

Next he handed me some basil to try, then some rosemary. He ate a raw bean. I politely took a bean, but held it in my hand for the rest of the tour.

When it was time to head back to my garden spot, he generously filled a bag full of white and purple eggplant from his thriving rows for me to take home.

“This is great. We didn’t grow eggplant,” I said.

“Someone told me they’d like some of your parsley,” he said.

We have almost a whole row of healthy green parsley.

“Please, tell them to get all they want,” I said.

I was happy to swap.

And it didn’t stop there.

Later in the day, I met two friends for lunch. I gave each of them an eggplant and jalapenos and cherry tomatoes from the Green Thumbs garden. I received a green bell pepper from my friend’s garden in return.

“I just picked it,” my friend said.

We stood in her kitchen smelling the green vegetable and admiring how perfect it looked. I was thrilled to get the pepper.

“I want to grow these next year,” I said.

After lunch, I found another bag of eggplant waiting for me on my front doorknob.

It took some investigating, but I found out it was from another community garden member.

It feels good to share the harvest. And trying the different vegetables gives me ideas of what to plant next year.

The lady who wants my parsley has a beautiful row of sunflowers. My sons would love to spit those seeds while playing baseball. I think she’ll make the swap with me.

I wonder what I can get for radishes and squash.

–cawk

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