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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Harvest Exchange and Seed Bank

As of late, David and I can be found combing our neighborhood asking neighbors if we can pick a modest amount of fruit from their trees. You see, there are soooo many fruit trees around town. Sadly, virtually all of them are treated simply as ornamental additions to a landscape, or perhaps as nuisances as their fruit falls to the ground to rot.

But that is food, and it is often beyond delicious!
These trees are usually not treated with any harmful chemicals, and they are not genetically modified.
There is no corporate middleman

It hasn't been shipped from thousands of miles away
And the food is, dare I say, FREE!?!

Anyway…that is what got me thinking.

What if we created a harvest exchange network in our community? Basically, a network of folks to share the wealth of produce that is flourishing, including backyard gardens. And what if it was done through simple exchange, no money involved anywhere. Not a cent. If neighbor ‘A’ has too many oranges, they can trade with neighbor ‘B’ who has too many avocados, both of whom can trade with neighbor ‘C’ who has too many tomatoes. We love the idea. This has also led to our considering the creation of a local seed bank. What do you think?

1 comment:

myste said...

that is wonderful! i have wanted to start a seed exchange for so long, i dont think my backyard garden has enough produce to trade with yet, but i certainly have seeds i save from my produce and i am always in want/need of new seeds too. seed heritage rules!

gleaning fruits rules too! in addition to asking neighbors for their surplus, there are organizations that map out where fruit trees are growing on or overhanging public property and their food is legally public property, i will try to find the website.

you should also watch one of my all time favorite films, The Gleaners and I by Agnes Varda, good inspiration for those of us who see food surplus where others see only ornament or waste!