Friday, December 30, 2011

Collaborative Consumption

HI everyone, I have been reading a great book called "What's Mine is Yours; the rise of collaborative consumption" by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.

In a nutshell the book explores trends towards sharing and lending resources that we may no longer need or have an excess of, instead of throwing it away. Likewise, if you need something, borrow it instead of buying something new. People are networking together and sharing cars, bikes, clothes, you name it, instead of buying more and more.

This is something that we are already doing at the Crop and Swap by sharing our homegrown produce, but we can expand on this idea of collaborative sharing within our community. For example, many of us make jams, and may need jars. others may have chooks and might appreciate old egg shells to grind into shell grit. Someone else may be in need of bricks for garden beds while someone has loads sitting behind the house at home.

If you have something you want to get rid of or are in need of something else, we will be leaving as register on the resource library table. Simply fill in your "wants" or "have's" and we will post in in the next Share Barrow newsletter.

What do you think? let us know if you have any other ideas about this and how we could initiate it at the Crop and Swap.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our 2nd Swap

Thanks again to all who came to the second swap on Saturday. Despite the dreary weather, around 50 swappers came along with wonderful December bounties. This month proved to be even more diverse in produce, with Alexander's highly anticipated Camembert cheese, Mitti's mouth watering wholemeal loaves, Edwardo and Grants crisp rhubarb stalks, Jane and Peters dried mushrooms, foraged from the Blackheath forests, and Cathy's Giant comfery plants. Miriams Christmas themed swap display was simply worth the visit alone.

Thanks also to Margaret for her suggestion about the share barrow, that everyone has to put at least one item into the share barrow before swapping begins. We think this is a great suggestion, as it is a good way to remember that the Crop and Swap is first and foremost about sharing with your neighbour.

Don't forget that the next swap is a little earlier than usual, being held on the 7th of January. It will be bumper crop season, and sett to be one of our best swap meets yet. New swappers are always welcome, so spread the word and tell your neighbours and friends.

We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you on January 7th with arm fulls of home grown and made goodies.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Labels for your swaps

Hi swappers,

We're looking forward to the next Crop & Swap on Saturday!

If you want to fill out the labels for your swapping goods before we meet, drop us a line at and we'll email the template to you.

Happy growing.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The very first crop & swap

What a privilege to be at yesterdays inaugural 'crop and swap'.

C - crowds came, about 85 we think (plus another C - Camembert. Melanie has promised it next month!)
R - Rosyln, Phillip & family win the prize for most chooks
O - Original. So much creativity in what people bought along
P - Presentation of goods supplied: The moment Miriam set her goods up in cute jars, baskets with straw and flowers, we suddenly felt inadequate :-)
Slug - crawled out of my salad at lunch. The salad was delicious we must say (and definitely fresh!) Thanks Mitti, Alice and Nadia.
W - wonderful generosity. There was such a good spirit, and the the free barrow was appreciated by all
A - Amber's Apple & Pear tart - yum
P - Please, please more mulberries George next time, they were hot property

Thank you everyone for feeding the community....literally.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Crop & Swap bags.

To kick off our very first Crop & Swap we have screen printed (by hand) some 'fair trade' hessian bags. The bags will be on sale for $15 on Saturday and all proceeds will go towards covering the ongoing costs of hall hire and public liability insurance.
Two sleeps to go, see you Saturday.
A, S, J & J

Monday, November 7, 2011

Okay so how does this swapping thing actually work?

Never been to a swap before and starting to have some pre match nerves? Fear not, this has been happening for millions of years. Our Paleolithic ancestors from the stone age formed tribes of 25 to 100 and survived by gathering plants and hunting wild animals in packs!

Nothing quite as wild is planned for Faulconbridge Hall :-)

When you arrive at 10am go to the registration desk where Annemaree and Bec will greet you with a smile and hand out tags for your ‘swapping goods’. You then put your goods on display in the swapping circle…grab a cuppa and meet your fellow swappers.

Swap time will start at 1030 am. Swaps are worked out independently between the swappers…but there are 3 Golden Rules:

  1. Home made or home grown
  2. Quality produce
  3. Swap in good spirit

And most importantly have loads of fun!

If you have any questions, shoot us an email


Steve, Annemaree, Joe & Jo

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Crop & Swap Library

Are you in need of a hoe? Are you short of a shovel? Are you ready to kick back with an edition of Backyard Farmer or Earth Garden with a cup of home-grown peppermint tea?

Don't despair, all this and more will soon be at your dirty fingertips and green thumbs.

We proudly announce the Crop & Swap resource library.

Our idea is this. If you have spare gardening journals, books, dvds or equipment that you would be happy to donate to the Crop & Swap library, bring them along to our first meeting.

Our aim is to have a collection of useful resources for people to borrow from and return at the following Crop & Swap meet.

For example we have several volumes of Earth Garden and Backyard Farmer magazines, some seedling trays and an aquaponics dvd that we will happily donate to the Crop & Swap resource library.

If you have any other resources that you think would be useful for your fellow Crop & Swappers, bring them along to the first Crop & Swap meet.

Tell us what you can donate.

see you soon,
j, j, a and s

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't let this happen to you

Hi Guys,

As you can see from our photo, we don't have much life left. Even the birds are not interested in us. 6 weeks ago we were 3 of the juiciest oranges in the lower mountains, and would have been hot property at the crop & swap. We would have happily traded places with a a bunch of carrots or some asparagus to avoid this fate.

It's too late for us, but not for you. Urge your owners to take you to the first crop & swap on November 12.

All the best, The Oranges

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sharing is Caring

It has been quite inspiring this week, after doing a few more letter box drops and seeing some fantastic front yard veggie gardens on our travels. It ‘s exciting to imagine the possibilities  and potential that  the Crop & Swap has to offer our local community, bringing people together to share good food from their own backyards and kitchens. But it’s also the idea of sharing “ideas” about local gardening secrets, old school recipes, preserving or keeping chooks...
Even by growing a little, I’m confident we can share a lot!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

a rainy saturday in spring

mmm a cute coffee cup steve... well we have been on a roving cafe/good coffee journey this morning (necessary after a few late nights).We piled all the kids in the car at 8:30 and headed west, first stop Katoomba, where the young guy at the paragon made us 2 really good coffees. there is something about the lamp light in the paragon that seems to pillow your head space on a rainy morning. The kids had a start-of-holidays chocolate...(and then we realised it was only 9:30..oops). We put some crop & swap fliers up at the co-op and then waltzed around town for a bit, then  headed back down the mountain, (feeling very sorry for those stuck in the snail crawl traffic heading up) to the Blue Wail cafe at Blaxland shops...they had a kids fun day on today between 10 and 2, such a great little cafe attempting to make the world a better place. After face painting and balloon sword duels and more fantastic coffees, we headed home. Also this morning Joe had a garden visit from a friendly  neighbour (Hi Justin) who also gardens and digs the crop & swap idea, so the word is spreading. We hope you are all enjoying this somewhat peaceful, rainy Saturday in Spring...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the Crop & Swap is growing!

Since our mini-seed envelope extravaganza we have been hearing from loads of Blue Mountains residents who have heard about the Crop & Swap. From Katoomba down to Glenbrook people have emailed us saying that they are really looking forward to coming along and bringing their swap produce. So far we have promises of home-made cheeses, ginger beer, bread, and loads of fruit and veg. It will no doubt be a delicious day.

We would love to hear more about who you are, what you grow/make and what you will be bringing on the day. If you are coming to the first Crop & Swap on the 12th of Nov, hit 'yep' on our attendance poll...lets see how many swappers there are out there.

You can also follow us on facebook!
Loving the sunshine,
Jo, Joe, Bug and Steve

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Did you get any seeds today?

Taking advantage of a beautiful spring day in the Mountains, we hit Glenbrook village and Faulconbridge streets today with packets of seeds to let people know about the Crop & Swap. Did anyone get any seeds? If you plant now, whatever you're growing could be ready for our first swap in Nov.We had a a really fun day, and were encouraged by the conversations. It seems there's a real appetite for homegrown fruit and veggies.

And besides, it gave us an excuse to chat to people we might not of otherwise. We met one of the staff at Jazz Apple  Cafe in Glenbrook, who moved to the Mountains in Feb and was excited about the Crop & Swap to get to know people locally.

(editors note: she was much friendlier than the German Shepherd guarding its letter box in Faulconbridge).

Happy growing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Open for Swapping!!!

HOOORAYYYY! The Crop & Swap is set to kick off on the 12th of November, 2011 at the Community Hall in Home street, Faulconbridge (Blue Mountains N.S.W.). So get growing some extra special fruit and veg to impress you neighbours with, and to use as your swapping currency.

It's time to spread the word. If you know a neighbour that you think would like to get involved in the crop and swap, let them know about the blog and the first meeting. Everyone is welcome.
 We aim to meet once a month on every second saturday of the month between 10am and 12pm, from the 12th November onward, unitl at least April.

When you arrive, make sure that you register and then get yourself an espresso coffee or tea, and feel free to mingle before the swapping begins. Steve makes a killer latte on his sexy red espresso machine.

A gold coin donation is requested, for those who can manage it, to help cover costs for hall hire and public liability insurance (the not so sexy red tape).

A complimentary cotton "Crop & Swap" bag will go to the swapper with the most exotic swapping item, as judged by the sexy red coffee machine (or the numer of audible OOH's and AHH's).

 Cant wait to see you there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome tothe Crop & Swap

The Crop & Swap will kick off in November of this year, at the Faulconbridge Community Hall, meeting once a month on a Saturday morning. the details of the official times and venue will be announced soon.

In the meantime, get growing, and tell your neighbours, or leave a message and let us know if you're coming, or what you think!

See you at the crop and Swap soon!