So, like, the biggest hippy gives me two huge bags of santa rosa plums. Sue next door turns these into bottled plums and plum and cinnamon jam while I am away. Sue gives me 6 bottles of plums and 3 bottles of cinnamon plum jam, and a bottle of apricot jam and two bottles of elderflower cordial - one for the biggest hippy to say thank you for the plums.
Sue and the duck herder spend last monday bottling my rhubarbd rhubarb and we split the bottles.
I give Ma and Pa Duck herder some of my plum jam and Sue's apricot jam.
Yesterday I picked blackberries and make blackberry jam, and blackberry/plum/necterine jam. This morning I picked more blackberries (my picking rate is 1 kg / hour....sigh) and there are 5 more bottles of jam boiling away in the vacola. One of these will go to Sue next door, one to Eilleen from the community garden in return for the marlalade, and one for the biggest hippy in return for the plums and another bottle of apricot jam. With luck there will be one left for the Cougarnaut next week, just because he is so appreciative and if I get it together tomorrow morning before the temperature hits 30 degrees, perhaps a few more spares for the pantry and a bottle for the Northern Pickle.
There are no beginings or ends to the threads of these transactions. It is a cycle of gifting and reciprocity for no other reason than the love of sharing fresh produce and wonderfull food. Who knows how many times some of these old jars have changes hands.
Fresh produce and preserves - the currency of my community. The threads that weft and weave my community together. Amen.