Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hyde Park's First BIG DIG GIG

The Perfect Reception Table

Marie brought in the most gorgeously blooming Climbing Hydrangea from her yard for the centerpiece.

We imported donuts from our favorite Humboldt Park bakery. I learned that "Kurting" a job involves an indecisive approach, irreparable action, and tons of laughter before the inevitable successful outcome.

The exchanged items were all "posted" and ready for trade.

Chuck's celebratory dig delivered Nasturtium, Red Currant, Lemon Balm and Plenaria.

Melissa and her daughter spoke with Bob after exchanging a basket full of Madeleines.

The ladders were full of plants and cook books.

A group of exchanged items included Day Lillies, Sedum, Hens and Chicks and Japanese Eggplant seedlings.

Matthew and Dierdre Rock It at G.E.E.E.

$6 Foot-Loooooong

The Kula Ring

Duff took a break from studying general economy, only to be confronted with it again at G.E.E.E. He traded one of his Golden Delicious Apples with one of our brownies, just to enthusiastically participate.

Duff explained the Kula circle, a ceremonial exchange system conducted in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea.

Participants travel at times hundreds of miles by canoe in order to exchange Kula valuables which consist of red shell-disc necklaces (veigun or soulava) that are traded to the north (circling the ring in clockwise direction) and white shell armbands (mwali) that are traded in the southern direction (circling anti-clockwise).

Bob realized that the circle of trade is similar to how we diagram our trades.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Preparation for the Big Dig

She has been transforming her yard into a native plant refuge since 2007, so she was pleased to both donate both plants foreign to the region that she's working out of the yard and some hearty plants that needed to be thinned.

I scored with Ferns, Lilly of the Valley, Day Lilly, Wild Ginger, Sunflowers and Fake John's Pulpit.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mark Your Calendars for the Big Dig Gig May 28th



Friday, May 28th


Cream Co. presents

A Garden Party

and A Big Dig Gig

1530 E. 53rd Street

Hyde Park

Chicago, Illinois

Embrace and participate in a neighborly exchange.

Dig and bring a plant, or bring a recipe, or a baked good.

Or drop by for a spot of tea,

a biscuit, a clever word and a viewing

of Hyde Park's first Big Dig Gig.

All plants and a wide variety of heirloom tomatoes will be available for sale or exchange.

Another Use of the Verb "Marie"

In a busy moment, the latest book of exchanges was Marie'd.

A Trade with a Cream Co.-hort

Barbara, a member of Cream Co., and her dog Angel came in to trade the oregano and thyme seedlings she's been starting.

As you can see, EVERYONE was excited by the trade.

A Plant Donation

Burt came in yesterday and suggested that a family who had donated plants to the Garden Fair might still have more: they're moving back to India. It ended up being a truckload.

We brought them back to the shop. In the spirit of neighborly trade, we priced them for what we paid: free. We left them outside so people could just take them after the shop closed.

The next morning, only 1 was left.

Peonies from Great Gramma's Garden in Alabama

Taylor came in one afternoon on her bike with a backpack full of plants. She had dug up lillies and peonies from garden, full of buds yet to burst. Originally the plants were from her great gramma's garden in Alabama. Years ago when her family moved to Chicago, they brought some of the plants with them.

Taylor chose a lot of herbs and vegetables to start her family garden. She interned at Charlie Trotter's restaurant last summer and learned to appreciate fresh ingredients so this year she'll grow her own.

A Recipe

So a customer came in the other day. She was looking for our compost, but the pile had been totally removed. We found a bag of Vermont Compost that had been donated. She offered to pay with $3 and a recipe. The recipe was written watching a neighbor make spanakopita. The neighbor had recently passed away. One might say this was a memorial or just a means of not letting the recipe die with her.

The Corn Plant Finds a Home

A week or so ago, a young couple traded a tropical corn plant for some herbs. We didn't have any plants remotely similar, so we were pleased that this gentleman bought the plant for his home. We wrapped it up and wagonned it right out to the car.

Time to Update the Exchange Guidelines

The way it works as of May 15, 2010

Our goods are available for currency or trade. We've opened the typical retail situation based on dollars to include trade.

Y Please no rummage Y

We've put a neighborly value on everything and ask that you put a neighborly value on the things you'd like to trade.

This is not a barter system.

We trade like neighbors, with trust, transparency and Y.

The Act of Turning a Noun Into Verb

One customer traded a loaf of banana bread for for an oxalis. The loaf was then Marie'd into 2 portions.

We ordered more Compost because it was a hit. Instead, all we got was a big pile of...

A new order of compost arrived on Thursday May 13th. It was very ripe with horse manure, still very hot and cooking. After letting it air out overnight, the odor was still unbearable, so we covered the pile with coffee grounds and brought in fans to dry the pile out overnight.

Saturday morning we covered the pile with plastic, expecting the smell to dissipate.

It did not dissipate.

Bob and Henry came to the the save the day, moving the offending material out of the building, one bag at a time.

They stacked the bags in the parking lot.

(no caption required)