I don't give away much any more. When we first had the allotment we gave away loads, usually because we had got our planting all wrong and had got far too much beetroot, or courgette, or whatever. Nowadays we are a lot smarter, and while we have not exactly banished the notion of surplus altogether, we tend to eat pretty much everything we grow.
So I don't give away much now; and in particular, I don't give away my precious garlic. I love my garlic, and my family all appreciates it - the children are particularly keen on roast potatoes with garlic, bless them. Why the hell should anyone else get any? After all, any surplus can be easily dealt with by cooking something monstrous like Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic (for those of you that don't know, this is a real dish: very good eating it is, too. If a trifle pungent).
But several months ago a friend demanded I give him some of my new season garlic when it was ready, and today - being a man of my word - I finally handed over a head of Early Wight, so fresh out of the ground it still had a light coating of East Acton mud.
He didn't get the Albigensian garlic, though. That's my favourite: it is a very pretty purple, grows well on our allotment, and lasts forever - we are still eating last year's crop, and indeed last night had an entire head's worth with some pork chops. Along, I might add, with some allotment potatoes (Sharpe's Express), some allotment broad beans, and some allotment peas cooked with allotment lettuce a la francaise. Made it all worth while, really.