Thursday, May 24, 2012

(AF) Neighborly Swapping

My neighbors down the road and I made it a point to have a phone chat today and catch up. They are the Aunt and Uncle of my late Jonathan, the ones that got us together, and great friends. Its funny how you can live so close to someone, yet far too much time can go by before you take a moment to chat because each time you pass by you think, "I must take a moment to visit tomorrow" and "tomorrow" just keeps getting pushed over to the next 'tomorrow'.

Now, my neighbors on either side of me are far from desirable... to put it politely. But this neighbor, along with a few others down the road, are the most wonderful neighbors a person could ask for! Although they have serious health issues, they would go out of their way to help you. That's the way neighbors were, once upon a time.

As we chatted about various things, we got to talking about our wild foods. I asked her if she had any lambsquarters this year. Turned out she doesn't have a single one! She was so excited when she found out that, just around the bend, I had loads of it. Funny how the soils, and plants inhabiting them, can be so different even just a stone's throw away on the same little mountain hill. I told her to let me know a little bit before they were going to be back by (they pass my house to go to town), I would pick them a big mess and they could stop and pick it up. They both sounded pretty happy.

Next was my turn. During the course of our conversation, I found out that she has LOTS of 4 O'clocks this year. That is one of my absolute most favorite flowers and I no longer have any. She said she had lots of seeds saved from last year and would be glad to share some with me. Woooo Hooo!!!! I don't know if it is just her soil, or if they are a special variety, but hers are also some type that grow taller than her head! I can't wait to get some planted!

Talk led back to gardening and I mentioned that I had just potted up some cherry tomato seedlings and had far more than I could use. Now she got excited again! They had been looking all over for the regular cherry tomatoes this year and couldn't find any. Funny... I have heard lots of people saying that this year and when I think about it, I didn't see any, either. I had seeds so I wasn't looking for any. She was thrilled that I had plenty to share with her.

Then, my turn again. When I had called her, she said she was just finishing up eating a Sweet Vadalia onion. We talked about how good they were and she said she would save me one. As we talked, they decided that they probably needed to check their mail, anyway, and her husband would just go ahead and stop by and swap stuff. (Although they are approximately a mile away, their mail box is just a few feet down the road from the edge of my property.)  I grabbed a bag and quickly picked a mess of lambsquarters, finishing just as he pulled up. We swapped, chatted a moment, and both went back to our houses and chores... very happy people. It was as good as a Christmas gift exchange, only maybe even better because we both got something that we had really been wanting, but it was very unexpected.

I LOVE living around neighbors like this. Communities were once like this, then it all kind of died off as greed and heavy material desires set into society ..... now, as we enter terrible times again, there seems to be a glimmer of hope for this type of community sharing and bonding again. I hope it stays that way this time, even IF the economy miraculously improves.


  1. It is wonderful to have sharing neighbours. Mine gave me my current rooster. Saved me from having to go to the farm auction.

  2. It is good to have neighbors that share. :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. We love and appreciate comments!