Bartering: exchanging abundance. Ideal for tough times!

When life gives you lemons, make . . . marmalade! Better yet, have someone make it for you!

I had the pleasure of welcoming a local entrepreneur into my garden this week, to produce sweet results in this sour economy. Over the past year I’ve become a fan of the Marmalade Mama of the Kensington Farmers’ Market. Her name is Alexandra, and she’s the genius, the cook and the bottle washer (an important function in the making of marmalade) of the Kensington Marmalade Company. She makes small batches of delicious concoctions with ideal texture, all from locally grown organic fruit. It doesn’t get much more local than picking the fruit from neighbors and patrons who live in the North Berkeley/Kensington area.

lemonladyAlexandra and her daughter appeared armed with bags and a scale, and picked the ripest, orangest of my Meyer lemons from a bush (no, tree!) that spans nearly 10 feet. This picking produced forty pounds of fruit, for which we will receive several jars of luscious lemon, or perhaps gorgeous grapefruit marmalade. She also makes strawberry jam, combinations of various citrus and a new product, a Meyer lemon drink base. Just add rum and stir: instant happiness! I love the fact that no money changed hands. Instead, we exchanged information about ourselves, a relationship was nurtured and everyone benefitted, including the tree.

Check out Alexandra and her Kensington Marmalades on Sundays from 10 ’till 2 pm at Colusa Circle. Tell her the Green Bungalow Lady sent you!

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