Autumn Produce Swap at the Library Garden

It was the hottest October weekend on record, and it certainly didn’t feel like Autumn in the library garden on Sunday morning (Oct 2) at Sustainable Bungay’s produce swap. Here was truly an abundance of fruit, vegetables, plants and seeds all from people’s gardens and allotments. Apples, pears, marrows, beans and people came and went and those golden delicious were the best I have ever tasted – who brought them?

Paul set up his small apple press so people could have a go at juicing some of the fruit. It was really good fun, and the juice was delicious – very welcome in that heat.

This was an event in true Sustainable Bungay give and take style, open to everyone, friendly and very transitional. A result of our persistence over these years in meeting together, organising and setting up events and projects. A live demonstration of community-in-action, working with each other, sharing what we’ve got and building social resilience for the future in a time of increasing economic and environmental pressures.

For when things get too hot and too lean!

One detail which symbolised the attention and effort people make for these days was a set of envelopes containing seeds and handpainted (or handprinted?) with calendula flowers. I asked several people who did them and no one seemed to know – but they made me feel very joyful.

I spent some time that morning looking at the central flowerbed with a view to the medicine plant theme I’m organising for next year. I experienced a sudden flash of permaculture insight about starting with the plants which are already there and working with them. I felt relief that we won’t have to dig everything up and start from scratch (which would have been more in line with our dominant throwaway culture than with working towards some kind of organic and sustainable continuity).

When I spoke to Richard about it he said he felt the same. Which was great since he mainly takes care of the garden. I’ll report on the project as we go, beginning with the lifting and moving of (some of) the plants on October 30th.

Meanwhile to breakfast… porridge, with a baked Bramley from the Produce Swap…

Pics: Apple pressing; people, pears and marrow; handpainted calendula seed packets; delicious golden delicious; central flowerbed still thriving by Mark Watson