On Saturday March 19th a group of 40 Sydney crop swappers met for the first time at Eden Gardens, Macquarie Park.
People came from far and wide armed with bundles, bags, boxes and baskets of produce. The best part was that it was all local, homegrown, homemade and delicious. The only problem was that there was too much! (Rest assured all left overs were either given away or composted.)
In the lead up there was much anticipation as some members pre-arranged swaps and others posted photos of what they had harvested the night before. There was a huge variety of plants, produce, seeds and garden supplies, with lots more ideas discussed for next time.
When it came down to it, the day was very simple – Neighbours chatted, members shared their crops, gardening tips and recipes were exchanged and new foods were taste tested. It was a resounding success which would not have been possible without the support of the generous staff at Eden Gardens.
At the close of the swap we drew the winner of our $100 Eden Gardens gift voucher. Congratulations to the winner Ya Lang Enke! We hope she buys some plants that grow into future crops for swapping!
Since the event, a few members have said that they felt they had little to contribute, so decided not to come. With some thought I think you’d be surprised about what you have to offer. Maybe you have an abundance of worm juice, or can bake? Despite not being traditional ‘crops’ the homemade muffins, chilli oil, mint sauce and cider from this event were all a hit. And if you really have nothing to bring, the cashless market and good old art of sharing often prevails, thanks to the members of this group.
To end, we’ll leave you with a little tale from the day. One Sydney swapper grew beautiful white zucchinis but wasn’t aware that the flowers were edible. Two other members were excited to take them home due to the expense of the delicacy in shops. The flowers were stuffed, fried and enjoyed, and all parties learnt a little in the process. The grow, eat, share loop complete!
White zucchinis & flowers picked fresh the night before… which were then stuffed, fried and destined for the plate at their new home. Their siblings had a similar fate, but were also eaten with okra.
Some items swapped on the day included:
Fresh and dried chillies
Organic worm juice
Zucchinis and flowers
Homemade chilli oil
Homebrew beer waste used as a garden tonic
Organic grow your own mushroom kit
There are tentative plans underway for a second swap on June 5th, so stay tuned for updates. Thanks to all who were involved in this first event and see you soon.