Do you grow too much basil, have too many seeds, or is your freezer not big enough for your end of season pesto? Simply, Crop Swap Australia facilitates the swapping of homegrown produce, seeds and edible plants through local, cashless markets. These groups build community, reduce food waste and help people eat better, at a lesser cost. Join your local group to meet your neighbours, swap excess produce and fairly barter with like-minded people for fresh, local and delicious goods. It’s simple. Come along to an event or post a photo to the Facebook group to get more of what you want, and less of what you don’t, without wasting the fruits of your labour – literally. To help you get the most out of your garden we also offer growing advice via the Crop Swap Australia Facbook page & various sustainability focused workshops. Post your trials, tribulations and queries or simply follow along for some inspiration. May your gardens be bountiful with excess for swapping.
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Every year, in the lead up to Spring, gardeners start plotting and planning how they can gain more room to grow. We’ve put together some ideas to help you maximise your space and ensure that you’re growing (and therefore eating) responsibly. Spring is only 5 sleeps away!
Fruit leathers are a fabulous alternative to store bought, additive laden, roll ups. This recipe is easy to make at home with kids and has only 4 ingredients. My family likes the combination of raspberries and banana, but any combination of fruit can be used (apple & cinnamon, cherry & cranberry or mango & pineapple are also delicious). If you don’t own a dehydrator these can also be made in the oven, though drying times may vary.
This International Permaculture Day, member Margaret Mossakowska kindly re-opened her garden to the Crop Swap community. This large suburban food garden features eleven raised vegetable beds (seven of which are self-watering), large composting bays and worm farms, a chicken forest, native stingless bees, insectary gardens and a habitat pond.
The sharing of this recipe is the result of a swap that took place between two members from the same suburb. One is a grower, the other is a cook. The first offered up a bounty of huge eggplants from her front garden, while the other had nothing to swap, but loved to make babaganoush. The eggplants were gifted with no reciprocation required, but the cook took the eggplants home, made the delicious dip, and returned some to the grower. Of the countless swaps that have taken place, this story has to be one of our favourites.
At our Pocket City Farms swap this month we offered members free soil testing provided by the wonderful team at Vegesafe. Home gardeners brought their soil samples along and were able to have them analysed on site for metal and metalloid contaminants. What a valuable service to ensure that soil is safe for growing edibles in!
Last Sunday we swapped on the 107 Rooftop, an inspiring rooftop permaculture garden in the middle of Redfern. Some people walked with their bounty from just up the road, while others travelled from Bexley, Arncliffe, Blacktown, Maroubra, Denstone and Naremburn.
For our first Lane Cove swap we partnered with Lane Cove Council for a very special family event. The Living and Learning Centre was a great venue on a rainy Saturday morning and produce was aplenty. We’re always excited to hear where and how people are growing and on this occasion spoke to swappers from[…]
This event signified our first on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and visitors came from far and wide. One family even travelled from near Hurstville to swap with us! On arrival, their arms brimmed with huge pesticide free zucchinis, flavoursome onions and freshly harvested beetroot.
On December 3rd we managed to squeeze one last afternoon swap in before the silly season set in. Set under a marquee in the beautifully planned garden of a Permaculture Sydney North member, attendees sipped refreshing homemade cordial (made using garden ingredients), tips and recipes were exchanged, and the owner conducted a tour. The garden buzzed with blue banded bees, new figs were spotted, hot rasperries were eaten straight from the bush and all marveled at the beautiful pomegranates on their way.
On November 19th Crop Swap Sydney turned 1! During our first year hundreds of swaps took place between 2,000+ growers.
We’ve loved hearing stories about how some of our members forged local friendships through this network, and connected over the growing (and eating) of healthy homegrown produce. Thank you to our members for being a part of a small idea that seems to be making a difference, and we welcome any newcomers who are keen to start growing and sharing!
Have you ever eaten rainbow corn, purple carrots or pink radishes? Varieties such as these, that sound too magical to be true, are known as heirlooms or old cultivars. In recent years they have become highly sought after for their superior taste, interesting appearance or because they are uncommon in supermarkets. For these reasons, they are perfect for the backyard veggie patch, and your dinner plate!
The culinary and decorative benefits of edible flowers are endless. There are many easy-to-grow varieties and most can even be grown in pots. They have the ability to transform any boring dish by injecting new colours and flavours, and are an interesting talking point (especially when you can declare that they are homegrown). Here are 5 of our family favourites to brighten up your table this Spring. […]
Crop Swap Sydney member Natalie joined us at our Berowra swap on November 5th. She baked and brought along these delicious lemon myrtle, honey and creme fraiche caramels which went down a treat. They store well and are just a little bit different. She’s kindly shared her recipe with us below.
Last month, to get Spring started, we teamed up with Vegepod to give Crop Swap Sydney members the chance to win a Vegepod starter kit. The competition required entrants to share a garden pest control tip with the community, and they did! There were companion planting anecdotes, recipes and homemade deterrents galore. With almost 100 entries it was difficult to choose just one winner.