Wednesday, 7 February 2007

A shared harvest.

When we first came to live here, we struck up a friendship with a neighbour who, as well as being the oldest resident in the village, was also a keen gardener. On many occasions that first Summer, while we were hard at work clearing our plot of pernicious weeds, she would often ask our boys to call at her house, whereupon she would send them home with a tray of the most delicious strawberries, hand-picked from her enormous crop.

One afternoon, as well as receiving a share of her bounty, our kind neighbour offered our boys a handful of runners to start their own strawberry bed. Unsure of how to begin, I worked alongside them helping to plant the runners in little rows. Then my husband laid little stepping-stones between the rows to ensure a firm foothold whenever we worked in the strawberry plot.

So open-handed was our neighbour, that, by the end of the Summer, having feasted on so many strawberries, I half-expected us to waken up one morning with little husks growing out the top of our heads. Later in the year, after the strawberry season was past, each time we visited our neighbour, we were sure be given a pot of her delicious strawberry jam to take home, such was her generosity.

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