Old photo of Nahant Wharf

Swap, Trade, Barter?

Find your local tribe of gardeners.

My father was a true New Englander with typical Yankee values and ideals; one being, that neighbors were family and everyone helped out in whatever way they could.  Dad had access to a large truck and often helped haul friend’s sailboats, motorboats and on occasion large lobster boats in and out of the water at the wharf in Nahant.

I enjoyed the warmth of the great cast of local characters that hung out there, watching the comings and goings of all the boats. They discussed and presumably solved town, state, national and world politics over hot coffee, or at least that is what I thought they were drinking.

In hindsight, the world might be a better place now, if their political thoughts and opinions were actually put into action. Just like my father, they were kind, hard working, down to earth, loaded with practical common sense and at times a wealth of useless information. Not just good men — excellent men, that would do anything they possibly could for you. They were a tribe of like minded, happy and content local boating enthusiasts.

There wasn’t any official Yankee swap or barter going on at the wharf, but everyone gave each other whatever they could share, mostly — their time and energy. It was always around Christmas when one or more lobsterman would show up at our front door with a bag of just caught lobsters. What a great unexpected treat!

We have all been trading, swapping and bartering our entire lives whether we realized it or not. Children trade little plastic toys, stuffed animals, snacks, lunches, baseball cards, etc…  Readers exchange books; stamp and coin collectors sell or swap their stamps and coins. Even the US government trades food for compliance with other nations to halt their nuclear and missile programs. We all make trades everyday simply by buying items with currency.

I was inspired, in part, by the swap section in “Yankee Magazine” to make a portion of our gardening website for swapping plants.  I have been giving away and swapping plants for over twenty years and thought, how great it would be, to have an organized section of the website just for gardeners to find local plants for swap in their own community.

If you are spending time and energy in your garden and want to sell, swap or donate your extra garden treasures, then visit www.generousgardeners.com  Simply list (similar to a classified ad) online your orchids, houseplants, perennials, vegetables and seeds to start finding your community of like minded gardening friends.

Your gardening tribe is out there, just waiting for you.

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