Would You Give Away Your Veg?


As we’re away this weekend, and I noticed that a few of my lettuces were about to be past their best, I picked them and took them around to my neighbour’s house. They were delighted with them and thanked me profusely – which felt nice. But, saying goodbye to my lettuces was more difficult than I thought. Which got me thinking – which veg would I happily give away and which would I fight tooth and nail to hold on to? There are clear distinctions between the ‘yeah, take one if you like’ kind of veg and the ‘touch that and I’ll have your hand off’ type. Here’s my take on the situation.

The, ‘Here you go, I have plenty’ type:

  • Courgettes
  • Runner Beans
  • Radish
  • French Beans
  • Potatoes (not earlies)
  • Rhubarb
  • Chard

The, ‘Because I’m going away and they’ll spoil otherwise,’ type:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Rocket
  • Salad Leaves

The, ‘You’d have to pry it out of my dying hands,’ type.

  • Sweetcorn
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • New potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • New Carrots
  • Pumpkins
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions
  • Shallots

Notice that the final list is the longest. Does that make me a bad person? Anyone feeling more generous than me right now?

16 Comments on “Would You Give Away Your Veg?

  1. your list is about spot on to mine – although I would add Red Cabbage to the never give away list so I must be a bad person as well

  2. No, not a bad person, just someone who not unnaturally wants to enjoy the fruits of her labours. Anyway, no need to give away pumpkins unless you really really want to, as they keep for so long. On the other hand, if you’re fretting about being a bad person, you could try having people over to share the raspberries.

    Such an interesting question


  3. WHAT?! I can’t believe you! You can never have too many potatoes…

    Alright, seriously. The reason the last list is longest is simply because you plant just the right amount, or possibly not enough, of the things you like best. I notice you don’t have a list of things you’re eager to give away because you don’t like. Good! That’s efficiency.

    Of course, I grew up in an area where if you didn’t remember to lock your car while at church, you’d come back to find ANOTHER case of zucchini on your seat. Augh!

  4. Ack! I am so not giving ANYthing away, EVER! Seriously. Just glance at my potatoes and I’ll be there with a hoe in your eye. I got so mad the other day when my deputy allotmenter, in a conversation with nextdoor allotmenters, casually said we will probably have spare potatoes. WHAT now? Ain’t nobody getting my potatoes, nooooooooo waaaaaay.

    If you’re a bad person, then I must be truly evil. Perhaps generosity comes with time?

  5. Ahh! Come on you guys! I see your point BUT, would you accept? I’ve just completed my first year on my allotment and was flattered by the generosity of others giving me plants and produce when I had nothing to offer back. But now I have some of my own stuff I know how you feel.

    As a Learner this is an important point of plot etiquette to me!!

  6. I always have FAR too many tomatoes, so I’ll happily give them away to anyone who shows the slightest interest. But french beans … not a chance!!!! They’re mine, all mine. Pumpkins and squash are reserved solely for me, although I’m very generous with my spare plants at this time of year. Potatoes, courgettes, runner beans, cucumbers, gherkins are all on my list of things to give away. Shallots and onions are too precious to hand out to folk, as is the garlic. I really struggle to get a half decent cabbage, so I reserve those for my own dinner plate too … parsnips are great, but I always grow so many I can afford to be generous, but carrots are like gold dust on my plot and they don’t even make it home to the cooking pot before being devoured raw at the plot!

  7. I never give away beetroot – we love it, same goes for onions, shallots and garlic.
    Salad leaves I swap a big bag for £1 coin (pays for next years seeds)
    Everything else I will happily share if we have too many.
    Actually I did give beetroot to some one once – but he gave me a greenhouse in return
    Nice post

  8. I’ve got a whole load of plants sitting in my greenhouse that I grew as spares, with the good intention of offering them to my neighbours. Hasn’t happened yet, and I suspect it never will! How bad is that?

    The other day I was given a pot full of lettuce seedlings, which I happily accepted, and felt obliged to offer something back. So I lost two tomato plants, and a celeriac. Think I came out of this exchange worst off?

    I must see if that celeriac has been planted yet, as the slugs have eaten one of mine :-)

  9. I see courgettes are at the top of your first list – no surprise there!
    Your post did make me think and I must admit only potatoes sprang instantly to mind as a give away. I’m sure I would be more generous if I had a surfeit of other things but that’s rare – at least that’s what I’m telling myself :-)

  10. I’m so glad it’s not just me who becomes attached to their veg. I did give away some sweetcorn cobs last summer, as I felt sorry for the people who had taken over the plot opposite (they spent a month clearing the plot of 6 foot high brambles, only for the council to come down the following week and clear all of the remaining overgrown plots with a JCB). Otherwise, I completely agree with your lists. I’ve now got more broad beans than I can shake a stick at, but would rather experiment with 1001 innovative recipes than give them away. I’m bad :(

  11. It is very interesting to read everyone comments about giving away surplus produces to requirements. We live in Northern Portugal perhaps we are seen as an undeveloped rural backwater of Western Europe. This may well be the case but things are done differently here. We retired here 2 yrs ago & are the only Britz within miles so getting on with the Portuguese local is a matter of necessity. On our arrival which coincided with harvest time to our surprised all our neighbors brought round to our house some of their home grown produce ranging from fresh laid eggs, home made wine, potatoes, vegetables of every description as well as other fruit. We were put in such an embarrassing situation that we had nothing to offer in return other than wait until next year when we had our own bumper of harvest. Next year came & we kept to our word we shared our garden pickings with all our neighbors & the sharing still continues on every ones part. This whole exercise has thought us a lesson that by giving & not expecting anything back in return on either side only good things will come out of it. We can speak from experience. All the food locally grown here is organic because no one can afford fertilizer. When guests arrive they all comment on how fresh & tasty the wonderful selection of food is some of it grown by ourselves.

  12. Oh no – Noeme – you’ve put us all to shame. Well done on being so generous!

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