I know what you’re thinking. Winny Blues. This Winny is actually short for Winstanley St at Carindale and it’s the venue for the monthly Crop Swap run by local urban permaculture specialist, food security warrior and all round nice guy ‘Green’ Dean. Dean has turned his suburban yard into an amazing advertisement for permaculture, organic growing and bio-diversity. These luscious limes in this small pot support the argument that anyone can have a garden, no matter how small your space.
Once a month, Dean runs ‘Crop Swap’ out of his garage. In Dean’s own words, ‘crop swap is a fun morning of sharing and swapping local produce, homemade food, books, craft and more, morning tea and chatting with like minded people’.
The morning kicks off at 9am with everyone arriving and leaving their ‘crops’ on a table for people to pick and choose from. There’s coffee and tea available and plenty to chat about such as how particular products are grown or baked, tips from green thumbs about they combat pests or get tricky plants to thrive and what everyone is up to over the weekend. At around 10am, Dean gives a 30 minute talk to the group. This month it was about making your own organic fertilisers (did you know that Vegemite can be used?). Most people stay for the talk but sometimes people are pressed for time so they just stay for a quick chat, swap and go. It’s all very laid back and easy going – times are definitely an approximation! Both times I’ve visited, there has been torrential (and I mean torrential!) rain yet more than a dozen people have come along, some from as far afield as Logan.
The final talk last year was how to start your own crop swap, something Dean wants to encourage local communities and neighbourhoods to do. All it takes is a little organising and some willing gardeners. If you are interested, he is more than willing to share tips and ideas to get your own crop swap going. Dean has many projects on the go such as the KFC (Kindness For Chickens) Project to rehouse chickens as well as a business teaching people about permaculture, sustainable gardening, garden design and a bit of everything else.
Basically, crop swap is an opportunity to come along and share your excess produce and goodies and go home with something a bit different. I have taken herbs, basil seeds, butterscotch brazils, egg cartons, excess plant pots, foraged cuttlefish for chooks and budgies, chutney and lots of other bits and pieces. As you can see from my photos, my hauls have been equally as eclectic with a variety of vegies and herbs, home made pasta, seeds, seedlings and even a hand made greeting card.