Hedge Veg is a quirky tradition from a time gone by that has stood the test of time here on the Islands of Guernsey, evolving to become a unique and charming staple of Island life.
If you wander around the lanes of the Islands of Guernsey, it won't be long until you happen upon a Hedge Veg stall, where islanders sell their homegrown goods. Traditionally, you would find homegrown Guernsey tomatoes, potatoes and other veg or eggs from free range Chickens at these stalls. Occasionally, you may spot a well-thumbed classic novel left for the next reader to enjoy or homemade sweet treats.
Over time, the resourcefulness of islanders has become more and more apparent, and these garden wall stalls have started to display all manner of items, from homemade crafts, candles and baked goods, to pots of herbs and freshly roasted coffee beans and even fresh Guernsey crabs! Many stalls are now thriving small businesses that embrace the fabulous sense of community that you find here on the Islands of Guernsey. It is a piece of island life enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.
At the heart of the community
There is a huge focus on sustainability in this tradition, the initial idea being that you share your leftover produce or home baked goods made from leftover ingredients with your community so that nothing was wasted. Most items are crafted from homegrown, up-cycled products and encourage sustainable packaging with the recycling or re-use of jars and containers.
One of the most wonderful signs that the community still embraces this tried and tested system is the fact that all of the stalls are unmanned, bar the occasional presence of children playing in the front garden. Instead of a salesperson, you will find a simple honesty box system, consisting of a price per item on a chalk board or piece of card and a money box with small change in it. It's a great example of how trusting and friendly locals are.
Where can you find hedge veg stalls in Guernsey?
So how do you find a hedge veg stall in Guernsey? Whilst it is wonderful to head off to explore the country lanes on a walk or bike ride to see what you happen upon, if you are looking for something specific then you may not be so lucky. There are other ways to find what you are looking for.
An increase in younger stallholders and the prevalence of social media has led to the creation of Instagram and Facebook pages for individual stalls to keep customers up to date with when products are replenished - a real winner if you want to pick up something very fresh. We suggest heading over early - or keeping an eye on updates from your favourite stall holders to make sure you don't miss out.
Local man Pierre Le Page launched the Hedge Veg app at hedgeveg.gg. He wanted to create something to help the community more easily enjoy the many hedge veg stalls on offer. What came about was a huge number of stalls that many had never heard of before. Stalls listed on the app are organised by location and by category, so you can easily find what you are looking for and see what's available. It's a wonderful little app, perfect for visitors wanting to embrace this Island tradition on future trips to the Islands of Guernsey.