Monday, December 7, 2009
A nice man from my church is giving us a few ducks in exchange for some of my sourdough rolls. I told him it seems like the trade is heavily skewed in my favor, but he said "not really," stuffing another roll into his mouth, "I'm always trying to offload ducks this time of year."
The church is shaping up to be a great boost to the trade network - of course that's not the only reason I go (Hi Pastor!!). I'm finally meeting so many of my neighbors. They are wonderful people and I'd be glad to know them in any case, but it's nice that the trade network benefits too. For example, it hadn't occurred to me before to trade equipment, but Mr. B down the road asked if he could borrow the apple press last month. Normally I don't lend it out, but he's a trustworthy, capable soul and a neighbor, so I said okay. Of course he brought it back safe and sound, along with a few gallons of cider. He even made a minor repair on it that I'd been bugging Homero to do. And, several weeks later, when we desperately needed to borrow a flatbed trailer, he obliged.
This kind of thing goes beyond the trade network, of course. It's that quaint old fashioned concept - neighborliness.
Funny I just realized that. Man, I feel ashamed of myself. I've been thinking all this time in terms of "the trade network," and how my family can benefit and save money. Not entirely selfishly of course; I've also thought in terms of the benefit to the environment and to local farmers of buying local... but I haven't, until now, just thought about what it means to be a neighbor.
Lending a hand just because that's what neighbors do, not as part of a semi-formal this-for-that arrangement. Dropping off a load of apples or a few ducks just because you have extra and your neighbor might like some. Stopping off to see how they are or if they need help with a project.
Homero has been offered help with his shop several times already.
I should go see Mrs. B. I know she hasn't been well.