The Winny Street Crop Swap, of which I attended my third one on Sunday, was started by Dean Bleasdale, aka Green Dean, of Carina Heights. Starting the event off with just a few friends sharing their produce, it’s now developing a keen and growing following.
At 9am the attendees arrived and placed their various products on the tables. Even though there’s no money involved, there’s no pushy people rushing to grab what they can. There’s a strong interest, however, in learning about the items, how they are grown and the like. The range of produce includes far more varieties than what is in most retail fruit and vegetable selections.
There’s no pressure on what quantities to give and take and the atmosphere is one of sharing and enjoying. At their leisure the swappers gathered items into their bags and enjoyed the homemade treats that were provided as part of the swap.
Loads of awesome homegrown foods swapped at @gogreendean crop swap today. Including zucchini, herbs, homemade pasta and some seedlings
— Mel Kettle (@melkettle) November 18, 2012
Dean generally has a different speaker at each swap who gives a 30 minute presentation at 10am. This particular swap featured a talk by Dean on how and why to set up your own local crop swap.
“In all honesty, it’s not rocket science, but there’s a few things to consider,” Dean says.
“It’s quite easy and rewarding and it really is a very sustainable thing to do, in minimising travel, keeping it local, cutting food miles, building community, accessing and sharing fresh local produce, networking and a whole lot more.”
Dean encourages those starting their own Crop Swap to consider what sort of direction and guidelines they want their gathering to have. The Winny Street Crop Swap has some rules. All fresh produce must be homegrown and organic (no purchased food). All other food must be homemade e.g. cakes and craft.
No produce is to be sold or bought – it is for swapping or giving away only. Financial transactions can happen later when people further develop the contacts they make at the event, something he encourages with much enthusiasm.
It’s a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. For those who are not yet growing fresh produce in their garden, there are plenty of ways to get involved with other homemade items (cooked food and craft). It’s also an opportunity to learn more about growing your own food – there are plenty of swappers there keen to share their knowledge.
Dean is keen to help others who want to get their own crop swap up and running.
The next (and last for 2012) Winny Street Crop Swap
Sunday 16th December, 9am – 12noon. Presentation from 10am.
Followed by a sausage sizzle for those who wish to stay on.
Other Green Dean events
– Make your own organic fertilisers | Saturday 24th November, 9am-12pm
$25 – includes morning tea.
– Permaculture design your garden | Sunday 25th November, 9am-1pm
$40 – includes morning tea, lunch & all materials.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 0432 414 266