A Lane Cove Resident, Laurie Green, has started a Crop Swap group in Sydney. What is Crop Swap? It is a cashless online market where locals use and swap fresh, home-grown vegetables.
ITC had the pleasure of meeting Laurie and asked her the following questions:
Why did you start the Crop Swap Sydney?
From balcony-less apartments, community gardens and backyards I have always been involved in growing edibles. I prefer heirloom varieties, normally started from seed, but this often results in too many plants, limited variety or surplus produce. In an aim to address these challenges, Crop Swap Sydney allows people to access a wide range of produce from one another’s backyards – it allows them to share their excesses and to eat free, fresh and local.
How big does your garden have to be to get involved in Crop Swap Sydney?
You can be involved with a few pots or a big garden. At last count we had over 50 edible plants in our backyard, but by connecting with Crop Swap Sydney members, this pool of freshly grown produce now has the potential to expand exponentially.
The offerings are also quite variable and aren’t confined to home grown produce. Other items could include edible plants, honey, eggs, seeds or gardening supplies. Everyone has produce gluts at some point regardless of their growing space.
How long has Crop Swap been going?
Just a short month and we have over 180 members. If you want to join the Facebook site is here.
What has been a highlight for you since starting the group?
A lady offered some beautiful eggplants, but one recipient had no produce to swap. She took the veggies home, turned them into Baba Ganoush using her mum’s traditional recipe, and then returned some of the dip to the grower. To me, that is the true personification of growing and eating local.
Here is another example of from crop to plate!!!
Does it cost much to start a veggie patch?
With patience, a garden can be started for free, if necessary. You can grow in almost any kind of container; create your own compost from kitchen scraps and grow from seed, cuttings or by dividing larger plants. Members of Crop Swap Sydney frequently swap plants as well as produce.
What is your ultimate aim for the group?
The aim is simply to get people talking, sharing and eating well with minimal financial outlay.
What are the benefits of Crop Swap Sydney?
As well as receiving high quality produce for free, members frequently exchange plants, recipes, trials, tribulations and advice with one another. Below is a salad featuring some of Laurie’s home grown crop.
Laurie has inspired ITC to start her veggie patch again. Mr ITC tried it a few years ago and the snails won. We did end up with a crop of tomatoes that averaged about $20.00 per tomato. So we are going to start small with some herbs and see how we go.
How do you join?
It is a Facebook Public Group – just go to this link and request to join and you are on your way!!!!
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