My neighbor helps me out a lot. I don't even ask. He just stops by daily to see what kind of trouble I am getting into and returns later (without saying a word) with just the right tools or a scrap of wood that fits just right. He gets up earlier than I do (like at 4 am) and never accepts my offer for a cup of coffee (at 7 am) or dinner (he eats at 5 pm and I eat at 8 pm or later). But over the years, I have learned that he has a bit of a sweet tooth. So, I bake him chocolate chip cookies and banana bread... and drop them off when he's not home. He'll come by later and say, "If you know the person who dropped off that banana bread, tell her it's all gone."
This summer, just recently, he asked me if I knew the rules for transplanting rhubarb. As I have known him for some time, I knew he had a number of things in mind. First, he knows where some rhubarb is growing that he thinks might be relocated... closer to my garden. This is great for a couple of reasons -- for the rhubarb yes, but also for the fact that it is a perennial and requires less gardening work on my part! Second, he wants me to know that he has access to rhubarb in case I want to make him a pie.
I can take a hint. Enter a parade of strawberry rhubarb pies. So far, I have made six and every time I make one, more rhubarb appears on my doorstep.
The assembly line has taken on a bit of comedy as well. I found a really great electrician who is fixing stuff that was not done well when we renovated our house in 2008. It's such a mess actually, that many electricians (more than 5) have turned down working on the issues. Anyway, when my electrician shows up to work, I offer lunch. He's on a diet, he says. Veggie sandwich?, I ask. He accepts. When I mentioned that I had some strawberry rhubarb pie, I could see the angel on one shoulder (the one on the diet) arguing with the devil on the other (the one who loves pie). Needless to say, he followed the veggie sandwich with a nice slice of pie.
When the latest batch of rhubarb showed up, the electrician began lobbying for the next pie. Who will get it remains to be seen. My neighbor or my electrician? Gotta make three more pies, I think. One for each of them... and one for me!
XOXO Farm Girl