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Start a Produce Cooperative!

produce_cooperative

Yesterday I discovered a neighborhood treasure called The Hillside Produce Cooperative. 27 lemons and 6 bunches of herbs, all picked from my garden, were left upon the doorstep of one of my neighbors. Two hours later my lemons had been replaced by beautiful oranges, tiny tangerines, a grapefruit, a handful of greens, 3 persimmons, some burning sage, Christmas holly and two very long twigs (I am not sure what they were). Magic!

This magic had been performed (through a lot of generosity and hard work I am sure) by a neighbor I have yet to meet, Hynden Walch. In 2009 she started a free neighborhood monthly exchange of produce and flowers. She calls it “a collective in which we all get to enjoy some of what everyone grows in exchange for contributing what we don’t want or won’t use ourselves.”

This experience has left me grateful, grateful for the exchange of fruit, but also for the neighbors who made this happen, and for the fact that we live in a time where homegrown fruits, vegetables, generosity and neighborliness are growing side by side.

If you are interested in finding, or starting a collective like this in your neighborhood Hynden gives advice on her site here.

 

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