Today I intended a local swap group which has been set up for the purpose of swapping produce, fruit, vegetables and information. No money changes hands and it is a very relaxed friendly arrangement. There are no membership forms or fees. One of the best aspects is how easy it is to talk to the people who come along and pick up gardening tips that are relevant to our area.
We all enjoy gardening and are happy to give away excess fruit and vegetables as well as seedlings, cuttings, bulbs and seeds.
Today I had excess tomatoes to swap Image by Marie Vonow
It is also exciting to go home with new cuttings and seeds to add to the garden. I have felt encouraged to try growing things I would not have if someone else hadn't given me a few hints and a bit of encouragement.
Having a common interest makes conversation easier. People are happy to give advice and make suggestions about how to deal with a challenge another person is experiencing. Sometimes no one has the solution to a particular problem faced by one of the group in their garden but there is understanding of how puzzled or frustrated the person is.
Today's conversation kept coming back to the unusual weather we have been experiencing the past few months and how this is affecting our gardens.
Everyone wants to help others improve their gardens so there is a real feeling of camaraderie. I think the shared interest in gardening may bring about a closer bond than many other common interest groups because gardening is all about working with living things. It's about working in the soil and with Nature.
Gardening brings pleasure in many ways and it is great to be able to share the joys of gardening with other people.
Garden writer, Anne Raver says, 'Gardens, scholars, say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let's stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another.'