Lemons for Limes

By Susan Littlefield

If your garden produced a bounty of vegetables this summer, you may have had more than you and your family could eat at certain times. What to do with all that extra produce? Many of us share with friends and neighbors or donate surplus to local food pantries. Now a California gardener has come up with another innovative way for gardeners to share their gardening wealth.

Lemons for Limes is a new website that allows gardeners within a community to share and trade the bounty of their home gardens and fruit trees, improving the availability of fresh, locally grown food and helping people move toward more sustainable living. The website is the brainchild of Lori Barudoni, a small-space gardener in Folsom, California. Last year her potted lime tree set a bumper crop and it occurred to her that there might be another gardener out there eager to trade a different type of produce for her surplus fruits. Thus Lemons for Limes was born.

Gardeners can list the produce they have to trade and search for produce being offered by zip code. They can also enter a produce item not currently on offer on a "wish list" and get notification when it becomes available. Produce is traded on a points system. Points don't have to be redeemed right away, so a gardener with extra tomatoes in summer, for example, can use his or her points to get some fresh fruit in the fall.

Barudoni sees her website as benefiting not only individuals who will have greater access to a variety of local produce and lower grocery bills, but to the planet as a whole as fewer resources go toward the transport of food from outside the community. "My hope is that lemonsforlimes.com will change the way people think about gardening and edible landscaping in relation to how it can be used to support sustainable living," she says.

For more information, go to: Lemons for Limes.

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