Monday, 23 September 2013
It's been a great day for trade for us today. The Hurrocks Allotment Association in Swalwell, Gateshead (my maran copper black hen won 2nd prize in their best hen competition yesterday) arrived this afternoon with a car full of the exhibits from yesterday's show. It included 4 gigantic pumpkins, marrows, potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and so on. I paid for this delivery with jam, eggs and honey.
And this morning I went to Highfield, Rowlands Gill, a few km from my house, to collect a sack of runner beans and potatoes from the Gibside Allotment Association. This was what was left from their stall at the Gibside Farmers' Market yesterday. Again, I paid for it with jam, eggs and honey.
Swapping locally produced food is part of the local trading network I want to create. One of the biggest learning points for me since setting off on our journey to become self-sufficient is that it is nearly impossile to produce everything ourselves but there are some things we are good at producing and end up with far more than we need ourselves. There are very few local beekeepers and not too many people producing jam and preserves. So we use our jam and honey as currency is an informal trading system. The more people who become involved will mean more local produce will be produced. Instead of relying on supermarkets to provide all our food, we rely instead on the local community of food producers. It means better quality food, healthier lifestyles, less waste, less resource depletion, less pollution and it's cheaper than buying the food from commercial outlets.
Some of the produce will be used at our next Allotment Cafe at Marley Hill, Gateshead, on Sunday 27th October. It will have a halloween theme to it. Watch out for pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie.