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Crop Swap Gisborne

Crop swapping is a celebration of abundance and sharing.  Crop swapping encourages the growth (pun intended) of sustainable communities through connection, knowledge sharing and friendship. Crop Swapping is about mindfulness and presence. It's about nourishing goodness and it is kindness in action.

Gardening has been a steady part of my world for 60 plus years. As expected, life happens and things change: jobs, homes, situations, income, people, stability, relationships, health, geography, arrivals and departures. This is not a comprehensive list, by a long shot and as we know changes are generally good for growth - although sometimes it's hard to see it at the time.

A constant has been the fact that wherever you are you can find some soil, plant a seed or a seedling and with a bit of love, something will grow that will sustain you. Has gardening kept me sane? Yes!

I am retired now and as I spend more time growing, there is always something to share and new things to learn. I first learnt about local crop swaps while visiting a friend in Matamata. The kaupapa just made complete sense.

I looked for a Gisborne crop swap group, but didn’t have any luck so decided to start one. Crop Swap Gisborne is now going from strength to strength via a Facebook page and word of mouth.

We meet to share what we have with others. Everyone is welcome; friends, seasoned crop swappers, visitors, first timers and old timers. We meet on the first Sunday of each month at Makaraka School car park and start our swap meeting at 2pm.

Makaraka school has generously allowed us to meet there. We usually set up in the shade of the tree and are mindful of leaving the space the same way we found it.

How it works:

- Arrive before 2pm and set up your bringings for others to see and have access to. This can be on the tarp provided, or you are welcome to bring a fold up table or anything else that works for you.

- Chat, mingle and view.

- At 2pm there is a welcome and introduction. This is also a space for anyone who wishes to talk about what they have brought along.

- After the welcome we mindfully take a bit of this or a bit of that. It is not a direct swap, just redistribution of gardening related goodness.  We fill our basket, share knowledge and stories. No money is exchanged. Contacts are made and new friends are found. 

- At around 3pm we have a brief group kōrero, clean up, and head home with any of our leftovers, new stuff to plant, eat or use, and most importantly a happy heart.

Some ideas of what we swap:

Fruit and vegetables, plants, seedlings, seeds, eggs, egg cartons, garden pots, herbs, fresh bread, garden shed cleanouts,  seedling trays,, honey, preserves, chutney, pickles, books and magazines, flowers, cuttings, succulents, baking, house plants, tools, trees, worm wee, animal manure.

Hopefully we’ll see some of you there this Sunday!

Story by Jeanie McCallum

Images supplied



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