This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my first produce swap. In fact the entire family came along to Long Jetty (Central Coast, NSW) CWA hall to get in on the action. Attending a swap had been on my wish list for a while but with a busy house and little kids I had found it hard to make the time work. But last week… I saw my opportunity and went for it.
Mackenzie and I prepared our produce to swap in the days running up to Saturday. I had transplanted a huge Lemongrass plant and cut back all the leaves so we used these to make lemongrass tea wreaths. These are a great (zero waste) alternative to a tea bag. The wreathes dry and can be stored in an airtight container and are steeped in boiling water for 5-10 min (in a mug or teapot) for delicious tea.
We also dug up a heap of strawberry plant runners and potted these up to take along. I love plants that divide. If you have the time you have an infinite supply of new plants. I am expanding my own strawberry patch constantly and love that I can always share the plants with friends. The same goes for my lemongrass. I divided the one plant into about 30 new ones. I am turning one lemongrass plant into a border in my new parterre inspired garden bed.
We always have an abundance of green leafy veg in the garden so we also took along bunches of rainbow chard and curly kale. I find these so attractive in the garden and easy to grow. The caterpillars love them but so far there has been enough for us and the caterpillars.
Lastly I took bunches of mixed herbs. These included flat leaf parsley, thyme, marjoram, oregano and lemon verbena.
And the exciting bit… what we managed to swap.
I loved bringing my own produce but it was so exciting to swap for things SO different to what we are already growing. I walked away with quite a haul including: Passionfruit, Oranges, free range eggs, Jerusalem Artichokes, a Choko seedling, Lettuce seedlings, a Fennel seedling and 2 Aloe Vera plants.
Produce swapping is so much more than a moneyless transaction. It is about connecting with your community, learning from your fellow gardeners, trying something new and celebrating a shared passion for growing your own food!
I am very exciting about swapping again soon and already am thinking of ideas for things to bring.
Hit me up with your fav swapping locations and swapping ideas. I think I am on my way to being a swapping junky.
The Long Jetty Produce Swap is held on the first Saturday of the month at the CWA hall, 1 Pacific St, Long Jetty, New South Wales.