Grow A Little Extra This Year If You Can! Help A Neighbor :)

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I have been out of work for over two years now when my company downsized in this poor economy. Times are tough and going to get a whole lot tougher for sure! I'm very lucky in the respect that I'm 61 years old and only have one more year to go till I can retire on social security. That is if that program is still in existence a year from now. Guess what I'm really trying to say is: help your neighbor out a little if you can. I'm planting way more vegetables in the garden this spring than my wife and I could ever use. The reason being, I want to be able to do what I can to help out other less fortunate people in this dire time of need. I plan to put a folding table near the curb on my front lawn and fill it with fresh veggies each day. I'll also have some saved grocery bags on the table and a sign that says FREE ......PLEASE TAKE WHAT YOU NEED BUT REMEMBER OTHERS MAY BE IN NEED TOO! With unemployment being as it is, I would imagine the veggie table will be quite a hit in the neighborhood. It may be truly appreciated by some, others will take advantage and some will won't care either way. This won't deter me one bit. Why? Because I know In my heart that I'm doing the right thing. We all need to help each other right now if we can because the government sure don't give a shit about any of the once middle class population!!! May sound like a crazy idea to some but I was just brought up that way when neighbors still helped neighbors :)
Rich From PA......... Zone 6
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

You already figured out that there are greedy bastards.
Folks where I live used to do exactly what you propose and even placed very low price tags (really not even enough to cover the costs of growing, like 10 a piece). This was a pay on the honor system but still hardly anyone actually paid the few pennys plus they grabbed all they could leaving little for others.
I found a much better system for sharing with neighbors is to trade produce with those who also have gardens... everyone grows a different mix of crops so the barter system works well, and it needn't be anything formal... whenever I have extras I leave a bagful at my neighbor's doors and they in turn do likewise.
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"brooklyn1" wrote

Same here. Oh, I havent the spread you do, but I still grow enough excess in my containers that I bring some over to neighbors. Last year it was a bumper crop of tomatoes and heritage bell peppers that I mostly had too much of.
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Another option is to donate to your local food bank.
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The food bank would be a good option indeed. We have a homeless shelter about 20 miles away that might be interested in some veggies. I also like the idea of a barter system with the neighbors. I done that last year with the neighbor right next door. The only problem is the fact that we live in town and very few neighbors put out gardens here. There are quite a few professionals in our town, lawyers, doctors, college professors etc. I guess many of these folks have very little need for a vegetable garden or don't really want to rip up a spot on their well manicured properties to put one in. Me, I'm just the opposite! I figure what good is a back yard if it can't give you something in return!
Rich
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On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 10:41:53 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

AMAs and ABAs don't need charity, nor does the typical EDU.
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Oddly, they don't take home small yard grown. Besides, I'd rather delight my neighbors and I do other things for charity.
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On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 09:13:33 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@notme.com wrote:

Food banks don't usually want fresh produce, they have no refrigerated storage facilities. Occasionally I have a glut of lettuce that's too much to pawn off on neighbors because they do likewise, so rather than place it in the composter I bring it to a local golf course restaurant where I know the cooks... they serve it as salads and in turn invite me to many of their events. Many of the local folks who garden gift the local golf course because many of their family members are employed there... college students need seasonal jobs. And golf courses are always looking to employ seniors to drive mowing tractors... I'm asked everytime they see me. Peronally I don't think anyone in the US should be out of a job, there are plenty of jobs that go begging because folks are too ascared to change occupations and/or get their hands soiled or sweat. Getting laid off should be seen as a gift to encourage a career change, usually for the better, instead of a lame alibi to collect unemployment insurance, and for years... shoulld be embarrassed to admit it, especially so publicly.
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Food banks in my area only accept food that has a USDA stamp of approval. Starving neighbors won't complain if you give to them.
I say be the greedy *#$%& and learn to preserve your own food. If you learn to preserve your own food, nothing you grow will go to waste. Extra lettuce can feed the chickens or put in the compost pile. And yes people that are down and out in the city can convert an old shed to a hen house. Just can't have that noisy rooster. If your community does have a law preventing chickens - I would do it anyways and see if anyone complains. Having chickens harms no one. Stupid laws are made to be broken.
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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"Dan L." wrote kate wrote:

Seems like that here. Grocery stores and such can do that and big time suppliers to local ones as well, but not us little guys with 15 extra tomatoes from our yard.
The 'out from the rules' is a local church may be happy to have such for an exchange. We do that too. A local one here has a sort of 'soup kitchen' run by the church but not listed as a non-profit (though they make none). They take fresh veggies from local small gardens happily. We donated our old commercial sized behemoth freezer to them as we had replaced it with a smaller unit when away several years (it was with the renters of our house).
The local church is feeding mostly local folks who are elderly and on fixed incomes, and young single parents. It operates more like a huge potluck with a kitchen attached. I dropped off an excess bag of onions yesterday (still fresh, just didnt realize Don had gotten a bag 2 days earlier).
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Same here, churches seem to be exempt as well. Churches might use the "Pot Luck" dinners as a way out of the "Charity Organization" group.
Charities may have to operate under different government regulations. Many Charities also receive government funding where churches don't.
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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Also, check out the local garden associations. Many of them have or know where there are local community gardens. Free food for the taking, just help them pull a weed or two.
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Some times a little info can provide food for the table.
http://www.culinate.com/articles/our_table/the_ultimate_budget_meal
If you have a blood sugar concern and favor less carbs and starches you may be able to tweak some of this your way.
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA



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EVP MAN wrote:

I always give away excess to neighbours every year and ask nothing in return. But it comes back anyway.
David
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net says...

I would never do something like that. It would lead to being personally marked as "always" having a surplus, which I would "owe" to people, with zero understanding that I had worked for the extra food. Many people blow things out of proportion, and have an amazing sense of entitlement.
If I wanted to donate food, I would do so via a food bank, soup kitchen, shelter, etc.
This isn't about being "selfish." It's about having healthy boundaries. I have learned to sort of depersonalise any generosity, because so many prospective recipients just have no limits to what they expect, demand, and feel entitled to from me.
Several years ago, I had a next-door neighbour who repeatedly started conversations by pointing out the alleged surplus of food in the very small container garden I had at the time. She was directly trying to get me to "admit" to having far more than I could possibly eat before it spoiled. So of course it wouldn't be any sacrifice for me to hand it over. This was the only subject she seemed interested in bringing up, except for mentioning her overall self-pity about her financial/housing situation, having just entered the adult world of jobs and bills and responsibility (poor baby.)
That was part of a more general problem with her and another neighbour (an obnoxious divorced housewife) in that building who perceived me as generally having more resources than them. Including the fact that I actually get off the couch and do stuff on the weekends, rather than sit around whining like them. They both eventually became openly hostile about my refusal to be used as a personal servant and sugar-mommy. The above-described individual actually told other neighbours that she had considered physically damaging my plants as revenge for refusing to be personal "friends" with her.
And, no, there wasn't really any surplus. And no, I didn't really have more resources than them, except for more willingness to work at something.
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donations for me. Frankly, I discovered years ago that "help your neighbor out a little if you can" bizness requires closer acquaintace with neighbors than I want!
--
the Balvenieman
Running on single malt in U.S.A.
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net wrote:

I understand what you and CFC are saying but I have another situation. I get on well with all my neighbours and we are as close as we want to be, which varies but doesn't involve spending days at each other's house but does include actually talking and interacting beyond superficial politeness. We all help each other and give each other things. If somebody needs a lift to town or to be towed out of a bog it is done, if somebody has excess veges they give them away, if somebody has to do something and needs a child minder such will be found.
There is no sense of entitlement nor of keeping score, nothing is given grudgingly nor does anybody ask for too much. It's kind of nice.
David
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Same as in my neighborhood which is in the country. I used to live in the city, life is different in the city. In the country most of my neighbors are close as one can get to self sufficiency. If something fails in the country, the community will come and help. Most people in the country are "jack of all trades". Sort of like the Amish communities. In the country "Good deeds are rewarded".
The cities are like complex machines and much more efficient than in those living in the country. One cog fails and the system grinds to a halt, resulting in chaos. The cities require specialized trades to keep the system going. When the chaos heats up it will be neighbor against neighbor. If you give to your neighbor in the city, that specialized neighbor will be dependent on you. In the city "No good deed goes unpunished".
My worldly views... Dan
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Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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Dan L. wrote:

I should have said explicitly that I am in a rural situation, these neighbours are 400m or more apart in the main. Aside from the lack of specialisation there is the time factor. You have time to talk. In the city social interaction must be abbreviated because the pace is faster and there are so many meetings in a day that you cannot afford more than a few seconds on each one. Both contribute to failure to develop real communities and to personal isolation. Humans like rats are not at their best in a rat race. I think the contrast in views about charitable acts can be largely traced to such differences in community structure.
David
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Wow! I have alway compared the human race to rats also. I have always used the phrase "Humans breed like rats".
The future communications of the human race may be like in Isaac Azimov's empire novels. The future may not have personal relationships at all. Everyone will communicate with computers while the population shrinks to zero. For those that communicate by computers may help in population reduction. After all I am single, never married and no kids. No rat breeding for us that communicate by computer! Now where did my robot go.
Enjoy Life... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

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