Sunday, May 10, 2009

Very first garden exchange- a success!

How delighted was I to find someone already waiting to make a trade when I arrived at 8:50 am to set up for the 9:00 am Mill Valley exchange yesterday morning.  And no light hitter let me tell you.  This was a family of gardeners- a mother, her two sons and grand daughter- who arrived simply loaded down with beautiful heads of lettuce in all colors.  It wasn't long before our next participant arrived- this time artichokes were the bounty and not just any artichokes!  These beautiful minis were grown from seeds mailed in from Italy- mailed only because when the grower tried to bring seeds back from a trip overseas, they were confiscated at customs (such lengths we'll go to for increased crop diversity)!

In all, 26 people showed up to exchange goods ranging from eggs to seedlings, herbs to Lilac shrubs(!) and dried fruit to chards and kales.  It was my sense that a good time was had by all and in fact the only down moment of the hour was when I was approached by an employee of Parks and Recs letting me know that our gathering place was not acceptable.  Granted, the fellow was abashed at having to convey this bad news and assured me that P&R supported our project and was willing to work with us to find a new location; but honestly, who would have thought that a group of quiet, peaceable residents could not meet informally at their local park to communally share the wealth of their soil?  I mean really, how much more sustainable can you be and isn't sustainability one of our fair city's goals?  Given the city's hiring of a Sustainability Director, one would think so...

Anyway, while we wait to hear back from P&R, if you could all put on your thinking caps and make some suggestions for an alternate location it would be deeply appreciated.  Remember, it must be free, since this is a non-commercial endeavor after all, and centrally located, so participants can hopefully walk or bike.  We've had one offer which may provide a temporary (perhaps permanent?) solution, but all your ideas and feedback are greatly appreciated.

After yesterday's great turnout, I can't wait for the "real" harvest season to kick in.  Thank you all for giving this idea legs and we look forward to getting to know each other better over the course of the next six months.

See you next week- we'll let you know where!

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