At first light yesterday morning I struggled, shivering from my warm bed and headed into the grey world outside. Fingers numb from the cold, I cut and rinsed celery and lemongrass, harvested limes and chillies, packed two dozen of my chooks’ eggs in recycled cartons and loaded my bike. Why? I was on my way to a local food swap.
On the first Sunday of every month, in foul weather and fair, we arrive at a local park bearing produce from our gardens. We lay it out on a table and then, at 10 o’clock, we take what we what. Simple.
For some reason, no matter how many people participate, there is always more than we need. Yesterday I came home with mandarins, lemons, rhubarb, Vietnamese mint and salvia and black mulberry cuttings.
Everything about food swaps is wonderful. Neighbours meet and chat, gardening and cooking tips are shared, and everybody goes home with locally grown, seasonal produce. What’s not to like?
How to find a local food swap
- If you live in South Australia, Zero Waste SA’s 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.