Saturday, June 14, 2008

Farmers Market

Yes, we have a farmers market in this neck of the woods and it is well worth the effort of getting up on Saturday mornings. It's the only reason I've managed to cut down on plastic round veges and even here I get caught sometimes... well no one's perfect!

Seriously though there has always been a tradition round here for good vege gardens and even now there are large numbers of people who grow at least a little something in their back yards. I think it stemmed originally from the sheer isolation of this place. The early settlers simply had to grow food or starve. You couldn't just go down to the corner shop so self sufficiency was a way of life. This was enhanced by the various boom and bust periods which followed. Life was lived within the local area and very little came in from outside until the advent of cheap transport.

There was also a great sense of community with family and friends supporting each other as necessary. Nobody was overly rich but nobody was allowed to starve either. My grandmother has stories about her own aunts visiting and leaving a gift of meat etc as they left. They expected no particular praise for this, it was just something to help feed the children. (There were 7 girls and a boy and my great grandfather had little work at times). Everything they had was used and reused and then passed on. Nothing was wasted.

The 2nd world war carried this vege garden tradition into the 50s and it was only in the later parts of the 60s and 70s that things began to get a little warped. I have hope for us yet as a community. It isn't that long since we were gardeners and home makers and communities. Even now we still have communities round here. Families have got too spread out and are also much smaller so they don't quite work as they did but we still know all our neighbours and we still pass things around as needed.

That's the way we need to be. "Nobody is an island......"

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