Strawberry Barter Encounter

Yesterday, I traded a few strawberry plants for some water kefir. I’ll need to check online for suggestions on using it, since it will be a new fermentation for me. I’ve heard that naturally carbonated fruit juices are possible with it.

Neither of us parted with something of high value; both kefir culture and strawberry plants multiply easily if you have them. But the exchange location made for an unexpected encounter. The young lady with the kefir culture works at a restaurant near the school my daughter attends. We arranged to meet as I was on my way to pick up my daughter after school.

The restaurant features locally grown items and is right next to a juice bar. Both places attract patrons that are the age of my children and appear to be doing well. The males that show up tend to be wearing skinny jeans. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch only, so at 3:00 PM there would only be employees cleaning up. I hadn’t considered my appearance as I walked toward the restaurant door.

But the two young ladies leaving the juice bar did. The appearance of an old guy who was wearing clothes that he’d just been digging strawberry plants was not what they expected. The two plastic grocery bags with clumps of dirt in them didn’t help my appearance any more than my faded sweatshirt and scuffed work shoes. The look I got was what I guess a homeless person would get. Gardening creates interesting moments.


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