Nurturing a Tradition
Food-sharing clubs are a growing trend. These are informal groups--ranging in size from a few families to entire neighborhoods-- that come together to buy produce and other grocery items in bulk quantities. That way, everyone enjoys the freshest products available at prices that are often lower than those in the supermarket. The best way to find a group is by word of mouth. If there are none in your area, you may consider starting your own. The payoffs--new friends, financial savings, and great-tasting food--will make the effort worth your while.
If you want to welcome a new neighbor or just make someone's day, show up with a basket of freshly picked vegetables. That's one of the things Lauren Partridge loves about living in Collierstown, Virginia. "My landlord shares his corn and tomatoes with us," she says. "It's really neat."
Pass Along The Bounty
The exchange of fresh produce comes with everyday life in this community near Lexington, Virginia. Resident Joan Potter says, "I work in a three-person office, and all of us have gardens. Whoever has extra green beans or tomatoes will bring them in to share." In addition to the informal swapping between neighbors, area farmers sell their produce at a market set up on Jefferson Street in Lexington each Wednesday morning during the season.
Growing your own produce just naturally leads to sharing. Even a few tomato plants on the patio can provide plenty of juicy red orbs for you and a neighbor or two. Or, at the farmers market, choose a large basket of peaches or corn to divvy up with friends.
This article is from the June 2005 issue of Southern Living.