Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A Weekend of Two Halves! and A Bit of Barter!


What can you do when it feels like autumn and pours with rain all day, but bake!
Ginger Biscuits from the recipe book that came with my cooker and yummy, light shortbread from my DS's Cook with Jamie.
Gloriously sunny and warm!  Ideal for taking a few pics out in the garden. 

(The cottage garden border has filled out nicely)

The subject of  Tales from a Stone Cottage in Country Living this month is bartering in the countryside, albeit with a comical twist. According to Aly, there are 3 stages of bartering that go something like this:
1 Bartering home grown produce;
2 Bartering items made with home grown produce i.e. jams and chutneys; and finally
3 Bartering services i.e. lawn mowing, pet watching.
This sounds about right to me although, perhaps, not in quite so structured a manner where you have to achieve one stage before you can qualify for the next!

(I love the colour of this holyhock which is growing tall and strong.  Must be well over 6ft.)

Thinking about bartering while wandering around the garden, I was at first dissapointed to think we didn't do it much. Then as more and more instances came back to me I realised we did it more than I thought.  It's just that it's such an integral part of life that we don't think of it as bartering.  And we don't ususally, as the article suggests, expect anything in return (but it's a welcome surprise).
(The one and only apple on young tree No 1)

I then thought further and it occured to me that bartering must go on in some form in every country of the world.  (Not that it's a very original thought - I just hadn't considered it before).  I expect the experience is very similar throughout the Western World but it would be interesting to know what happens in places like India, Africa and The Arctic. 

(The one and only apple on young tree No 2)

Here are my examples:
-Runner beans we gave to a passing friend who later left a jar of raspberry jam on the doorstep.
-Rhubarb, beetroot and cooking apples we give to my auntie up the road who leaves apple pies, custard slices and millionaires shortbread on our garden bench. :-)
-My OH cutting an overgrown hedge for a friend who will spray OH's tractor panels in return.
-Church members bringing produce and leaving it in the porch for the congregation to help themselves.
-The Vicar announcing in chuch that she has raspberries or blackberries ready in her garden for picking
Plus lots of general lending and borrowing of tools, baking ingredients and skills too many to mention (and many forgotton).
(The knarled old Bramley groaning with apples)

On the stiching front, I have cut out the curtains for my shed at last, from the charity shop sheet (a tongue-twister if ever I heard one) I bought especially.  Results hopefully before too long!

Bye for now
Teresa x

1 comment:

wayside wanderer said...

The biggest thing we ever bartered for was two of our babies. :) I had them at home with a midwife and we traded bedroom furniture (my husband managed a furniture store at the time) for her services. :)

I enjoyed all the apple pictures and hearing about your community.