Sell stuff from your garden to your neighbours

A new website where you can grow stuff in your garden and sell it to your neighbours. A bit like Etsy for plants.

I feel a bit sorry for these guys – I’ve been there so many times… set up a site that depends on people joining… then wait… then wait… try some desperate marketing measure to get attention… then wait… all your hopes pinned on some “next big thing”…

Maybe it’ll work – I don’t think so though… and the reason why I don’t think so goes to the heart of currency… or more specifically, currency being a byproduct of the size of social-sphere… or economy or whatever.

Which is to say, you get a LOT more from giving stuff to your neighbours than selling it. People pay neighbourhood kids to mow lawns or collect lemons or whatever because they’re doing it for the kids, so they can have pocket money – and because accepting neighbours kids like this helps tie a community together.

The level that adults operate at is a little different – the community-level glue-of-giving being more direct. The Unspoken Social Contract that Clay Shirkey was on about.

Personally I can’t imagine selling vegetables to the people next door. It would… put a wall between us. We would only participate in this if it meant that we were buying things from other people who were retired or unemployed or whatever.

But um… I guess this site caters to a wider geography than that… so um… what do I know.

I hope it works out to be honest – if it could take the pressure off people having to find a proper grown-up’s job.

And it could work the other way – when I was living in the UK I didn’t even know what the other people in my building looked like, let alone… know them as people. Maybe flogging stuff to them would be an excuse to get to know them… but you’d be so much better of giving it away. I mean if you give people stuff, they like you. If you could sell “people will like you” spray – that actually worked – as well as giving them tomatoes that you’ve grown, how much would it be worth? A fuck of a lot more than the tomatoes, I bet.

But getting back to some sort of point… I’ve got this nagging sense (that I can’t quite put my finger on) that the key to alternative currency is to do with face-to-face community. It’s more than networks of trust… it’s networks of dependency? Networks of gut-level responsibility?

I think television has been a disaster.

5 Comments » for Sell stuff from your garden to your neighbours
  1. Village!! Communism!! 0_o Yea! You’re right tho, selling sage can’t work. Money won’t be worth a tomato soon enough. We’ll all have grow what we get. Just like 200 years ago. Progress!

  2. admin says:

    If you’re friends with a neighbour who grows tomatoes, you don’t need to grow your own. You can do something else – and you probably will, because you’re friends with your neighbour. The Taites next door make us biscuits, lend us tools, feed the cat etc – but really it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t even do that – it’s good having someone to keep an eye on things. It’s good just having someone there.

    We grow more tomatoes than we can possibly eat. More feijoas, plums, apples (although this season was crap), avocados (although this season was crap), grapes, tree-tomatoes – lettuce etc is easier to gauge… it’s the tree-based stuff that over-shoots. And 90% of our garden is jungle. It’s all very seasonal etc, but it is doable. This is suburbia – nothing big or fancy.

    Not everyone wants to do this – but some people do. A while back I went on about the school in South Auckland that was doing this – had a calming / encouraging effect on the kids… and the produce was given away – the teacher running it didn’t see it as stealing – rather “helping themselves”. Social Contract innit. You kindof need village-sized groups to pull it off though.

    It’s not perfect… but… what we’re doing now isn’t either. I’m not sure that what we saw in the 20th century was progress so much as a certain social configuration pushed to breaking point.

  3. It’s my ideal you describe. Fabulously put about the greed configuration pushed to its enth.

  4. Elvia says:

    The best best best way to find the best seeds is to simply cut open a totamo and if you like what you see and taste, bury the seeds and water frequently. Seriously that’s how I get almost all my totamo seeds. It’s that easy. That’s how I got almost all of these seeds. My sister Julie did smuggle some of them back from Italy for me

  5. Nick Taylor says:


    The way commercial tomatoes in the UK (and elsewhere) are grown is that they have one variety that’s really good at growing roots, and another that’s really good at growing foliage/tomatoes etc… and they graft one onto another… so they get really unnaturally fast-growing plants.

    If you try to plant the seeds, you get a fast-growing weedy looking thing who’s roots aren’t strong enough to sustain it. I know. I’ve tried.