Did you know that:
- If you plant a foot-long (30 cm) mulberry cutting very deep, so that three quarters of its length is below ground, it will develop a stronger root system than a shallow-planted cutting because roots will develop along the entire length of the cutting.
- Bananas can be grown in Adelaide (despite being a long way from the tropics) and banana suckers can be planted at any time of year. You can water bananas with grey water that would kill other plants and they will thrive.
I learned these things this morning at Essential Edibles Urban Orchard, my local food swap.
While most people attend food swaps to receive fresh, locally grown produce and to off-load gluts of produce, an indirect benefit is the wonderful conversations that occur between passionate gardeners.
Despite being a cold, windy morning in the Southern Hemisphere ‘hungry gap’ month of September, an extraordinary range of produce was swapped and shared, including lemons, bulbs, eggs, grapefruit, seeds, seedlings, Jerusalem artichokes, black mulberry cuttings, bay leaves, rhubarb, lettuces, herbs, celery, pumpkins and mandarins.
If you grow any produce in your backyard, I encourage you to join a food swap.
How to find a local food swap
Essential Edibles, the food swap I coordinate is an initiative of Sustainable Communities SA and is on the first Sunday of each month in Joslin in Adelaide’s inner east. You can find out more via our Facebook page or contact me to be added to our email list.
- If you live in South Australia, the ShareNSave website is a great place to start.
- Elsewhere in Australia you could try the Local Harvest website, which lists some food swaps.
- Internationally, the Food Swap Network is a great resource.
Other places to try include community gardens, your local council, environmental groups and your local paper.
If you are interested in starting a food swap in your local area and need some tips, please contact me below or privately and I can assist you.