After we’d bought our finca in rural Mallorca I had dreams of creating a vegetable garden, once we had set up home here. I would pluck sweet cherry tomatoes from their vines, unearth golf-ball-sized new potatoes, and harvest plump peppers for my culinary creations. Alas, it was not to be: the shallow layer of soil on our land disguises a foundation of rock – unsuitable conditions for a budding veg gardener.
I did once try to grow potatoes here. The several plants looked healthy enough above the ground, but when we eagerly dug up our spud bounty, it amounted to just five potatoes.
I do know, though, of people whose gardens produce such an abundance of fruit and veg that they can’t possible eat, freeze, or otherwise preserve it all. If they can’t give away the surplus, it goes to waste. Such a pity.
Trade your surplus
Anyone living in Mallorca with surplus home-grown produce this January may be interested to hear about ‘Beetroot Barter’ – taking place in Palma de Mallorca later this month.
‘Beetroot Barter’ is the brainchild of Sylvia Wynans, whose Facebook page Wholesome Living is worth perusing. Even after making a supply of chilli paste, Sylvia had lots of chillis left over and it prompted her to think about the amount of surplus home-grown produce that goes to waste.
Her thoughts led to the idea of a food-trading event, at which backyard ‘farmers’ across Mallorca could swap their surplus produce for someone else’s. As the idea was formed, Sylvia realised the initiative needed a name and asked her husband for ideas: “The first thing he said was ‘Beetroot Barter’,” she told me. “We love beets!”
She then had to find somewhere to hold the event and turned to British businesswoman Justine Murphy of mymuybueno Deli in Palma de Mallorca – who loved the idea and offered Sylvia her premises as the venue.
Need to know
If you have a glut of home-grown goodies from your garden and would like to be part of the inaugural ‘Beetroot Barter’ (and perhaps help shape future events), here are the details:
Date: Saturday, January 26th
11:00-12:00h – Allocated for a group discussion to design the guidelines for trading and organising similar events elsewhere (Sylvia would love to see this initiative spread to towns and villages around Mallorca – and indeed beyond our island). Anyone with food-retail, marketing, or other relevant experience, is welcome to join the discussion.
12:00-13:30h – Trading time. Swap your oranges for apples, your eggs for home-made jam, or simply donate your surplus produce for the benefit of others.
mybuybueno Deli* in Palma de Mallorca. Located in the centre of the city (on the first floor of the building opposite the main Correos or post office), the Deli is a very short walk from the Antoni Maura underground public car park.
*address is C/ Tous i Maroto 5B.
The event is free to enter, but you are asked to spend 8€ in the Deli (which serves delicious food that’s all made there and is free of lactose, gluten, and refined sugar).
Take your own shopping basket or boxes: no single-use plastic will be available for packing.
For more information, see the Beetroot Barter page on Facebook.
Hear Sylvia talking about this initiative on Saturday 12th January on Table Talk on Mallorca Sunshine Radio 106.1FM or streamed online at the station’s .com