It was a warm, sunny Spring day and the shaded verandha in Mary and Trevor’s back garden was the perfect place for an afternoon of swapping and catching up with neighbours over afternoon tea.
The October swap table was laden with backyard eggs, silver beet, celery, loquats, seeds, ornamental plants, gardening books and magazines.
Our local Share & Swap group, which started at the beginning of this year, is consolidating. As we get to know each other better we can also share produce outside the monthly swaps. We now know who is growing what and who would like those extra lemons, empty glass jars or an armful of fresh-picked weeds for the backyard chickens.
Elaine brought a box full of home grown seedlings including several varieties of tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkins and berry plants.
While we prefer to meet monthly and in each other’s gardens, many other groups meet more frequently and do so in community halls or local parks. For example, there is a weekly local Share & Swap in our region, between 9am and 1pm every Thursday, at the Glenelg North Community Centre.
Like many other community activities, neighbourhood Share & Swaps contribute to building stronger, healthier and more resilient communities. They also help us live more sustainably by reducing food waste and food miles. If you do not yet have a Share and Swap in your community, why not start one? They are lots of fun and a great opportunity to learn from each other.
Making a start can be as easy as getting together with a few neighbours or dropping a flyer in local letter boxes inviting people to join in. At Grow your own fruit and veg with Neighbourhood Crop Swap, gardener Chris Collins explains how neighbours can work together to produce and share their own food. If you are interested in starting a Share & Swap in your region, there is more useful information at Introduction to food swaps | Local Harvest and community fruit & vege swap.