It never ceases to amaze me how generous most people are that live in this little valley. Over the time we have lived here we have been kindly gifted many eggs, bags of zucchinis, pickles, apples, pomegranates and numerous other vegies. Even a full load of compost. Interestingly, we don't live in a food growing region. The weather conditions are harsh, the soil eroded, and the whole region is in a rain shadow. Any local will tell you growing food here is not easy, to say the least. But not impossible.
So I try to find out as much as I can from these greenthumbs of the community. I think slowly we are getting there. We now know what is best to plant in Winter and when. That shade is very important in summer. We also know that we do need a green house and perhaps a poly tunnel to compensate for the short summer season.
|ratatouille cooked from a neighbour's vegies
There is a lot to be said for the smaller communities, though living apart as they do in rural settings, there is a greater familiarity with neighbours than I ever did find in the suburbs. Perhaps a comfortable distance naturally brings people together. I have seen this from various community gatherings, music bands, Sunday coffee drop-ins to the testing times of our recent fires. It is a reassuring to know that we live within a community of capable, down-to-earth type of people. Where old fashioned skills are not uncommon.
Sharing of food has it's way of bringing communities just that little bit closer. And isn't it wonderful to not have to put those items in the trolley? If communities can grow what they can and informally barter then that has to be a very good thing. For our health, the planet and our pockets.
So meanwhile we make plans for chickens, new garden plots and a greenhouse. It has taken us some time to get to this stage, and while delays can be frustrating, I think we will eventually get there. Until then we are so very appreciative of the the occasional gifts of excess eggs or vegies that may happen to come our way.