Daily Archives: April 18, 2016

Transition Town Guildford’s First Garden & Produce Share: The Power of Sharing and Connecting with Like-minded People

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Transition Town Guildford’s Garden and Produce Share Stall

On the weekend Transition Town Guildford launched their first Garden & Produce Share at the Stirling Square Markets in Guildford.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a Garden & Produce share, here’s how it works:

People bring their excess garden produce to share. This could be seeds, seedlings, veggies, cuttings and/or fruit. People take what they need. No money is exchanged.

That’s right, you read that correctly: no money is exchanged. Not a single cent.

This baffled quite a few people who came along to our stall. “Can I give a donation for the persimmons?” and “Are you sure I can just take this apple?!”.

Our response?

No. We don’t want your money. And please, take the apple. We want you to have the apple! 

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It’s all free. Please take a tromboncini!

I can understand that it may seem a little strange to go to a market stall and be told “You can talk anything you want. All of this stuff is free”. This isn’t exactly the norm in Western consumer culture! But judging from the delighted looks on people’s faces as they munched on the crisp homegrown apples and other fresh produce, I could tell it was a welcome change.

So you may be wondering, “What sort of produce did people share?”

Being the daughter of stone fruit orchardists, I shared some second-grade fruit from my parents’ orchard in the Perth hills. I brought some macadamia nuts along too which a little local boy had fun cracking and eating. My husband picked some green capsicums and garlic from last year to share with others too.

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Cracking macadamia nuts. It’s addictive.

Being our first produce share, I have to admit my expectations were fairly low. I thought maybe some people would bring a few herbs to share. Perhaps some seedlings too.

I couldn’t have imagined the variety of fruits and vegetables people would bring along: Jerusalem artichokes, tromboncinis, Indian guavas, persimmons, garlic, bay leaves, galaxy apples, limes, lemons… we had a better selection of organic produce than Coles and Woolworths put together!

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Some of the stars: Pineapple and Jerusalem Artichoke.

One generous lady even donated a pineapple. It had taken her 2.5 years to grow this beast! And boy, did it smell delicious.

I also noticed that the produce was super fresh (most of it was picked on the day!). I could clearly see the difference between the homegrown produce and the sad looking wilted stuff sold at the local shop.

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An example of the produce a mother and her young daughter contributed

Everyone who came along left with a bag or basket full of different coloured goodies and a big smile on their face to boot.

It was really nice to see local residents come across our stall, take a few items and then say “I’ll just pop home to get some cuttings and lemons to contribute!” I think it must be in our nature to be generous and share.

What struck me about the whole event is how a garden and produce share can be a powerful way to connect with others and share local gardening knowledge.

Here’s an example of conversation I had:

Guildford resident: “What is this? Is it ginger?”

Me: “No, apparently that’s a Jerusalem artichoke”

Guildford resident: “Oh! What’s it taste like?”

Me: “They say a bit like a potato. You’ll have to try it and see!”

What the Garden and Produce share showed me is how good it feels when you remove money from the equation.

The event has re-inspired my love of food and community. It is deeply satisfying to give away your produce to others who understand the hard work involved in growing your own food. To connect with other fellow gardeners is food for my soul (like charlie carp and kelp is to my veggies!).

We’re going to trial the Garden and Produce Share for the next 3 months and see how it goes. The next one will be on the 15th of May from 10am – 11am. Put it in your diary. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

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Preparing the Verge for Autumn Planting….

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On Sunday a small team of vergers gathered in Bassendean early to tackle a narrow weedy verge and avoid the great heat of the day. In just over an hour the weeds were dug out,  wet newspaper was spread and the mulch was heaped on top covering the area. The Bassendean  Council were very helpful and assisted by placing part of the mulch on the footpath for easy access on the Friday and placing signage along the footpath for pedestrians. It was a breeze and the visual impact is amazing.

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Now the area is ready to be “bombed” with the everlasting bombs we made at our last workshop. As soon as May arrives…

Our verge gardening group  meets about every 3 weeks to tackle someone’s verge. If you would like to be part of it, contact Pam on pamela.riordan@gmail.com

Gasland II and Fracking in WA

Last week we screened Gasland II, all about how ‘Fracking’ (hydraulic fracturing) has polluted water and politics in the USA, and it was pretty scary!

This industry is looking to take off in WA with test wells planned in two locations in regional WA in the next few months. You can watch a 7:30 WA report on it from the other week here: Mid West community unhappy with fracking plans

But here’s the fantastic news, over the weekend, Central Greenough (south of Geraldton) just became the first ‘Gasfield Free Community’ in WA! Over 96% of the community said no to unconventional gas.

Celebrating the first WA Gasfield Free Community! (Photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Celebrating the first WA Gasfield Free Community! (Photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Great work Greenough, we support regional Australians protecting their land and water! Make sure you tell your MP that you support protecting our land and water via Clean Water, Healthy Land.

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Over 96% of the local community said no to unconventional gas (Photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

You might also like to watch this recent Australian Story on how fracking is bringing together unlikely allies, Greens, farmers and shock jock Alan Jones. Available on Iview until 9 pm tonight

Celebration time (photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Celebration time
(photo Jaime Yallup Farrant)

Local article in the Geraldton Guardian

Local article in the Geraldton Guardian