Delaware Produce Exchange

Pears in my back yard

A lot of people have small backyard gardens or herb gardens in pots.

It’s typically the case that you grow more than you can use of certain kinds of produce and of course no one grows everything they would like to eat.

Enter the Delaware Produce Exchange!

This absolutely free online resource is intended to help small farmers and backyard gardeners buy, sell and trade their excess produce, cuttings, seeds and whole plants.

For example, once my plants start producing I fully intend to list items and hope to find people interested in trading with me. Currently in my small back yard I am growing:

  • four different kinds of apple trees
  • two different kinds of peach trees
  • two different kinds of pear trees
  • an almond tree
  • four different kinds of grape vines
  • three different kinds of raspberry bushes
  • two different kinds of blackberry bushes
  • two different kinds of blueberry bushes
  • four different kinds of strawberry bushes
  • a lemon tree
  • a fig tree
  • spinach
  • four different kinds of lettuce
  • two different kinds of tomatoes
  • green beans
  • peas
  • carrots
  • aloe
  • two different kinds of mint
  • chives
  • scallions
  • an assortment of different herbs

Grapes in my back yard

As if all that weren’t enough, at her own house, my fiance is growing:

  • two more different kinds of blueberry bushes
  • a third kind of raspberry bush
  • an orange tree
  • a kiwi tree
  • four different kinds of mint
  • two different kinds of Swiss chard
  • two different kinds of tomatoes
  • aloe
  • three different kinds of basil
  • chives
  • scallions
  • an assortment of herbs
  • an assortment of edible flowers

All of this stuff is organic and obviously it will be WAY more than our combined families can possibly eat.

Granted, some of the plants are still small. Some are immature and will yield only handfuls of fruit. (Of course that situation will change over time.) Even now though, there is just no way we can make use of it all.

With all this produce, you can see why we started the Produce Exchange. We will freeze some of what we grow. We’ll also eat some, dry some, can some and probably even sell some. We’d also love to trade some for other things we are not growing or that we won’t get enough of from our own plants.

So if you live in or around Delaware, check out the Produce Exchange. You can read postings as our guest but will need to register to write your own postings or respond to others. It’s absolutely 100% free and there is no obligation of any kind.

Come trade with us!

Even Just $1-$2 Could Help Treat as Many as 437 People!

Sue and Rasta out Kayaking

That’s not an exaggeration. My partner Sue spoke recently with the organizers of the medical mission she wants to go on in November. She asked them how many patients she would be likely to see and treat during her time there. Based on similar missions done in the past, they said that each nurse would treat roughly 437 patients over the course of two weeks. (Numbers for the doctors vary by specialty.)

Multiplied by the number of doctors and nurses planning to go on this trip, the numbers are just staggering!

What that also means is that if we can’t raise enough to go, 437 people who need medical care may not get it. Or at least will have to wait for the next medical mission or try to get it from their already overtaxed local medical personnel.

Even a contribution of just a few dollars goes toward helping her get there. For only ten dollars, you will get to see photos of all of the doctors and nurses working their butts off to make the world a better place.

If everyone who reads this passes it on to just a handful of others, and if even a few of those people get involved and decide to contribute, the results could be amazing. And you’ll have the gratitude of 439 people, me and Sue included.

Click here to donate and please click the link below to retweet this article.

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Special Note: Fundraising closes 9/30/2012

The Long, Sad Chain of Events

Imagine a nightmare scenario

You are out walking, carelessly stumble and break your ankle. You can’t afford medical care (or it simply isn’t available) so you have to live with the pain and just wait for it to heal on its own. Because the break was never set properly, it never heals properly and you spend the rest of your life hobbled with a severe limp and a weak ankle which is prone to breaking frequently.

Sounds extreme? Unlikely?

Not if you’re living in Nigeria.

Here, in one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world, minor illnesses and injuries can be a big deal.


Enter a Hero

Sue K. is a Registered Nurse at a teaching hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. She’s been invited to participate in a two week long medical mission to Oyo state in western Nigeria.

Once there, Sue and the other doctors and nurses in her group, will do three valuable and important things:

            1. Provide free medical care to all who need it.
            2. Train local doctors and nurses in the latest western medical practices.
            3. Donate approximately 50 cases of medical supplies and equipment to the hospitals and clinics hosting their group.

Sue Needs Your Help!

Once in Nigeria, all of her expenses are paid for by the charity sponsoring the mission. However it’s her responsibility to get there and back.

All told, Sue needs to raise about $2,300 in order to make the trip.

That may seem like a lot but she really only needs 200 or so people to kick in $10 each and she’s basically there.

And what if she falls too far short of her goal to afford to go? Or — best of all worlds — actually collects way more than she needs?

Well if she doesn’t collect enough, the people of Nigeria would miss out on the services of a dedicated and experienced nurse. (Sue’s been an RN for 13 years and has even trained dozens of other nurses, since she works at a teaching hospital.) However, she has pledged to donate all the money received and use it to buy even more supplies to give to the Nigerian hospitals and clinics.

If she collects more than she needs, any excess will be used to buy supplies to give to the hospitals and clinics.

What’s In It For You

Aside from the wonderful feeling of doing something truly good in the world, Sue is offering two bonuses for those who support her. The fact that they are small allows her to devote 100% of the donations toward helping the people of Nigeria.

  • While in Nigeria, she will take her camera and take pictures of the work that the mission does. Those photos will be posted in a private portfolio online. Only those donors who give $10 or more will be given access to view the photos.
  • For anyone generous enough to donate $100 or more, Sue will find a local Nigerian vendor and purchase a small handcrafted souvenir. Upon her return home, she will mail the souvenir to you along with a note of thanks. (Plus you’ll also get access to the online photos.)

To see a video of Sue talking about the mission in her own words and find out more, go to

A Little Rain Must Fall

I live in Delaware, roughly midway between New York City and Washington, DC. Average rainfall in this part of the country is around 45″ (114cm).

Unless you’re a meteorologist, that probably doesn’t mean all that much to you. Heck, I live here and it doesn’t really mean much to me.

What I do know is that it’s very green here. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many different varieties of trees grow within 100 miles of me. Surely it’s in the thousands. I have ten different kinds in my back yard alone. There are at least twenty more among the other yards on my block.

I’ve read that Delaware is the 16th wettest state in the U.S. So I guess 45″ is quite a bit.

The thing is, how different do you suppose that would be if all 45″ came in a single day and we had no precipitation whatsoever for the remaining 364 days of the year?

It would be a very different place. Likely little or nothing could grow.

Same amount of rain… vastly different results.

The Tie-in

This actually does have something to do with marketing. At least in the roundabout way that I frequently approach things.

Or more precisely, it has to do with grant writing.

If you didn’t know, most non-profit organizations subsist on small individual donations and on large grants given by wealthy donors, philanthropic foundations and government agencies.

Grants aren’t exactly easy to get. You have to apply, go through a rigorous screening process and then even if you get grant money, it often comes with restrictions on how or when it can be used.

Still, the amounts make grants necessary for the survival of most non-profit organizations.

The application process is complex enough that there are professional grant writers to help guide organizations in applying for grant money and increasing their odds of actually getting approved for funding.

The tie-in is that few organizations get more than one or two grants per year. That’s a bit like a tree getting rain only one or two days of the year.

It becomes incumbent on those non-profits to manage their finances in such a way as to make those few infusions of funds last throughout the year. (Hence the reason so many ask for individual donations, which come with fewer strings and can be spread more evenly throughout the year.)

A Cottage Industry

Professional Grant Writing is a small, cottage industry. I suppose it should come as a surprise to no one that I offer grant writing as part of my menu of services offered.

In my mind, it just makes sense. As a professional writer trained in the art of persuasive writing, and as an avowed do-gooder hell-bent on saving the world, helping non-profit organizations get the funds they need to survive is just a natural fit.

Do you belong to or know of a non-profit organization that needs funds? Help me on my mission to save the world by putting us in contact with each other!

(You didn’t really think this article was going to be about rainfall, did you?)


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Retweet this passage Do you belong to or know of a non-profit organization that needs funds? Put us in touch with each other!

Why Should I Do My Best?

Sometimes, it’s tempting to think that it’s okay to turn in a ho-hum performance. Especially when there’s “clearly” no payoff for doing your best work.

Indulging in such thinking is a trap that will sentence you to a life of mediocrity and failure.

Let me use a real-life example that happened to me recently to illustrate the value of always doing your best.

One of my primary means of promoting myself locally is through public speaking. I go out to civic organizations and other groups to give free presentations on topics related to copywriting, marketing and advertising. I never charge for such speeches and I never try to sell anything. I go there on a purely educational basis.

That alone limits my upside, right?

It gets worse. Recently I was asked to give a presentation to a Kiwanis Club in a town about thirty miles away. Of all things, they asked me to talk about QR Tags.

When I arrived, I found that the club only had seven members and all but one of them was well over retirement age!

If ever there was a case where there was clearly no payoff for me turning in my best performace, surely this was it. I could just coast through this little speech, take the free lunch they offered me and be on my way.

Instead, I told myself that a professional turns in his best perfomance every time no matter what. I would use this as an opportunity to further hone my speaking skills.

I spoke to that group as though there were seventy people in the audience instead of seven. Without treading on anyone’s vanity, I spoke loudly and enunciated clearly for those whose hearing had already succumbed to the ravages of time. I was gracious and professional. I patiently answered every single question, even when they began to go a bit off-topic.

Unbeknownst to me, one of those seven people in the audience was the Regional Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis International. He had tremendous influence over twenty-two other nearby Kiwanis clubs in the region.

I was still blissfully unaware of this fact when I asked for a testimonial and a referral.

What I got was a glowing email sent out to the heads of all twenty-two of the other clubs in the region.

Several of them contacted me on the strength of that testimonial. I ended up doing several more free speeches. All of them to much larger and younger audiences. Audiences filled with small business owners who were still in the trenches.

Ultimately, several of those who heard my later speeches hired me to help them with marketing their businesses.

That one speech to seven elderly audience members, in which there was “clearly” nothing in it for me, has led to many thousands of dollars in ongoing business leads. All thanks to my being a professional and putting forth my best effort.

No matter what.