Gransnet forums


Things that should be free

(38 Posts)
NannaBanana Tue 05-Apr-16 12:32:26

Hi all smile

Just joined and thought I'd post on something that I've been thinking about.

At my local farm shop they're selling rhubarb and wild garlic leaves. At other times they sell brambles, nettle tops and other things that grow all around here for the taking. Why do people pay for things like these? Is it me?

kittylester Tue 05-Apr-16 12:34:14

If they run out of garlic leaves they can come and help themselves to mine - blessed stuff!

Welcome NannaBanana. sunshine

Teetime Tue 05-Apr-16 12:37:34

I know you used to get a nice big handful of parsley when you bought fish but you pay for it now.

aggie Tue 05-Apr-16 12:42:34

very enterprising of that farm shop smile good luck to them , if you want to gather stuff yourself it isn't that easy , trespassing , animal pollution etc

mollie Tue 05-Apr-16 13:15:53

Waitrose gives flavoured butter pats with fish for free...

kittylester Tue 05-Apr-16 13:20:51

So do Sainsbury's.

pompa Tue 05-Apr-16 13:57:08

As do Tesco, not that I ever want them.

mumofmadboys Tue 05-Apr-16 17:18:08

I bet it's incorporated into the cost! Not much is 'free'!

rubylady Wed 06-Apr-16 02:45:13

Sanitary towels, they should be free!

absent Wed 06-Apr-16 06:37:42

People could pick their own wild garlic or whatever – do it if you want to. If it's picked, washed and packaged for them, then the time of the picker and packager must be paid for. If someone picks wild mushrooms and sells only those that are edible, you pay for their expertise in identifying the others that are toxic. You pays your money and you takes your choice!

JackyB Wed 06-Apr-16 06:56:46

Reading the title of the thread, I immediately thought "surely everyone has a right to water". Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to buy it in plastic bottles, but could have it just coming out of holes in the wall at home.

Oh.. wait..hmm

Gracesgran Wed 06-Apr-16 08:34:57

The water coming out of the "hole in the wall" is not free JackyB. With the swing towards extreme capitalism everything is commoditised and we, as the man said, " know the price of everything and the value of nothing".

The very problem with the housing market - one which affects most of us in one way or another and could well put a hole in our economy - is that we now see "houses" as a commodity rather than "homes" as a need. Nothing is allowed to be "free" or it diminishes the capital gains of someone else.

This government and those of its ilk see the word "economy" as having little to do with our - the people's - lives and only to do with money. What that money does, who it gravitates towards (Panama Papers ???) or who has too little does not matter as long as the money is looked after. The people can go hang sad

Daddima Wed 06-Apr-16 13:08:44


granjura Wed 06-Apr-16 14:12:36


M0nica Thu 07-Apr-16 09:13:40

If you live in a rural area foraging in hedgerows and woodland open to the public is entirely legal and as most run beside footpaths and areas away from roads entirely safe.

I gather blackberries, sloes and greengages and elderflowers and berries from local hedgerows and could also gather rosehips, if I wanted to and crab apples if I did not have a prolific crab apple tree in my garden. There are many other things i could gather if I recognised them or knew what to do with them. I also have a decent rhubarb patch that keeps the household fully supplied.

Foraging is less easy if you live in an urban area, but what a perfect excuse for days out in the country.

f77ms Thu 07-Apr-16 09:34:37

Gracesgran , oh so true . I am thoroughly sick of hearing about ¬"The economy" we have been brainwashed into thinking it is something the ordinary public should be concerned about above all else .

annodomini Thu 07-Apr-16 10:02:06

I once, as a farewell gift from my babysitting group, got a copy of Richard Mabey's book, 'Food for Free' which was then a new publication. It must have remained popular because it's still available and has a high * rating on Amazon. I wonder what happened to my copy...

Nonnie Thu 07-Apr-16 10:43:20

Sorry to disagree but I think the economy is very important. If we have a good economy we can afford to pay for things like the NHS, education and welfare. If our economy is poor we have less money to pay for such things.

Elegran Thu 07-Apr-16 10:49:28

Try having a bad economy, like Greece.

Elegran Thu 07-Apr-16 10:58:18

SOMEONE has to pick the blackberries/mushrooms/garlic leaves/nettle tops and package them for sale. They have to be paid a wage, and the premises have to be heated and lit and the rent/mortgage paid. In fact, the blackberries are probably cultivated ones (no thorns, easier to pick) The nettles ar garlic may be picked by someone who then sells them to the farm shop - charging for their time and effortt- and they have to choose patches where dogs haven't peed on them, and wash them before packing them.

As others have said, anyone can pick stuff in places open to the public, but if someone else picks it, they are entitled to recompense. That is the root of "the economy", at least until we achieve Utopia, when everyone does everything for no reward.

Gracesgran Thu 07-Apr-16 13:09:17

But we were never going to have, nor were we comparable to Greece Elegran This was just used by the Conservatives to frighten the children who hadn't done their research so they believed it. (Children as in how the Tories feel they can treat the electorate) The Conservatives only answer to many questions seems to be to go for the fear option.

"If we have a good economy" Nonnie people would not now be starving, homeless, uncared for when they are in need of care or only able to find insecure employment. As for the NHS and education, both appear to be on the tipping point of either crashing round our ears or - the Tory answer to this - not available to all.

I'm afraid telling the lie of a "good" economy often enough just isn't convincing me.

M0nica Thu 07-Apr-16 13:21:01

It costs money to get water out of a holein the wall. There is the grid of water pipes coming to your home. It costs money to build them and keep them in repair, the cost of making sure the water is safe to drink needs to be found and to build the reservoirs and drill the wells. The water may be free, it is the cost of accessing it is expensive - unless you build your own well - and that will cost money, unless you are willing to dig it yourself and just hope the water is safe.

Housing is a straight forward question of supply and demand. If the population suddenly halved the price of houses would plummet, if it doubled house prices would probably double or more. There is a finite supply of land and 70% of a cost of a new house is the price of the land.

I think most people see their home as just that, and always have. There have always been land speculators. Anyone read South Riding by Winifrid Holtby. No new problems, just new versions of them.

GdnGuru246 Thu 07-Apr-16 15:17:15

I think that car parking at hospitals should be plentiful and free, for patients and visitors. I know someone has to pick up in the inevitable litter strewn around the place but at often stressful times it is very hard to remember to take enough money to get out of the multi storey. My DH has to have a stem cell transplant this summer to combat myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) and our first 'recce' of the hospital in Oxford is tomorrow. He has been worrying today about the best way to get there - by car but there's a scarcity of parking spaces; by train then bus but the times don't work out; so I expect it will be an early drive to combat the rush hour traffic then find the Park and Ride.... and hope the buses turn up. Having cancer is bad enough without this extra stress!

Last Autumn my DF had a sudden cardiac arrest at home, was effectively dead in front of us but amazingly saved by DD who is a vet.... it was terribly traumatic for everyone, but thankfully he is thriving and back at home. For the 4 weeks he was in hospital the family must have paid a fortune in parking fees!

grumppa Thu 07-Apr-16 15:53:12

Free car parks at our local hospitals would be targeted by commuters; having spent £5. On parking at one earlier today I applaud the thought, but cannot see how to make it work without a complicated refund system.

nanaGill Thu 07-Apr-16 15:55:46

Good luck GdnGuru246. I recently took my BiL to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. We used the Park and Ride. The buses turned up on time, and it was a much less stressful way of getting there than trying to find non-existent parking spaces.