A fearless day of swappery…

Many muddy hands make... stacks and stacks of seed balls.

Just reporting back from the awesomeness that was SEED CIRCUS in Redfern yesterday… my goodness. Thank you to the 300+ folks who came from all over to learn and to swap and chat and help us eat through our glut of apples. Crikey there were a lot of you!

I think my favorite part of the day (ok equal favourite with the workshops) was the incredible diversity of the swapmeet. There were boxes of braided garlic, antique scarf collections, nepalese bell pepper seeds, cupcakes, books (from self sufficiency manuals to vampire bodice rippers), and just about everything else… 

Michael and Gi preparing 200 thank you bags of seeds and such (thought this would be stacks but we ran out by Midday...)

Michael and Gi preparing 200 thank you bags of seeds and such (thought this would be stacks but we ran out by Midday…)

Milkwood apples, ready to swap...

Milkwood apples, ready to swap…

The inaugural swappers arrive...

The inaugural swappers arrive…

First seed saving workshop kicks off - cucurbits and friends

First seed saving workshop kicks off – cucurbits and friends

Swap it! Whoohoo

Swap it! Whoohoo

Herbs and things

Plant swap heaven

Beautiful amaranth

Beautiful amaranth

Seed ball making workshop. We went for an edibles/pollinator mix for these: zinnias, calendula, fennel, parsley

Seed ball making workshop. We went for an edibles/pollinator mix for these: zinnias, calendula, fennel, parsley

Many muddy hands make... stacks and stacks of seed balls.

Many muddy hands make… stacks and stacks of seed balls.

Seed balls drying in the sun outside...

Seed balls drying in the sun outside…

The primo swap of the day... 3 jars of Milkwood pickles for one ute. Seriously. But more on that another day (extremely stoked and thankful in the meantime on this one)

The primo swap of the day… 3 jars of Milkwood pickles for one ute. Seriously. But more on that another day (extremely stoked and thankful in the meantime on this one)

1305 seed circus - 12

Boxes of braided garlic! Swapping legends.

Boxes of braided garlic! Swapping legends.

1305 seed circus - 14

Gigi of Milkwood and Diego, who led a weed walk to Prince Alfred Park...

Gigi of Milkwood and Diego, who led a weed walk to Prince Alfred Park…

Still more swapping... so many treasures

Still more swapping… so many treasures

1305 seed circus - 17

Michael talking winnowing techniques to a full house

Michael talking winnowing techniques to a full house

I love it when the home-made seed packets live up to the beauty of the plants contained within...

I love it when the home-made seed packets live up to the personality of the plants contained within…

So the workshops were all most excellent and we had this lovely loose crew of folk who stayed for the whole day. I was hoping this space would become a ‘hangout’ of sorts for the day and it really did – lots of people just mooching, going to get lunch, coming back for another chat, another workshop and more swappery…

The swap meet went so well it surprised us all, I think. So very many people brought wonderful small and large contributions, and everyone left with something useful and/or tasty.

We also allowed for ‘pay it forward’ swapping. In this format you basically invite people to just show up and take something home if there was something that they needed, on the proviso that they give something to someone, sometime later…

While this one was a bit of a loose concept, it was based on the sort of behaviours that we’d like to see more of in our community, and also something that is at the heart of permaculture ethics – fair share.

A big fat thank you to everyone who came along – it was great to see so many Milkwood alumni faces as well as Redfern locals and everyone else besides. Such beautiful swapping!

A special thanks to Michael, Floyd and Gigi for being such Milkwood legends from dawn till dusk, and also to Helena and Diego for their workshops. AND to Stephen and Jess for all their help. And to International Permaculture Day. And to Chris. And 107 Projects. And to Sydney for being the special mix of humanity that it is.

We’ll see you all next time, beautiful Sydney folks! It takes a lot of energy and time to organise these fair-share events, and we really do thank everyone for coming along to celebrate what community can be. So happy planting all, and may all your broadbeans grow high and plump…

>> More posts about community projects…

9 Comments

  1. Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you so much for putting it on. It was such a treat. We had so much fun swapping our herbs, chillies and cordial for some amazing artichokes and lots of seeds. Brilliant idea!

  2. Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    Milkwood!

  3. Posted May 6, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Would have loved to have gone but couldn’t get to Sydney. Glad it was such a success. We’ve been doing a fair bit of swapping recently. A few jars of jam to Ruth’s uncle for an evaporative cooler he restored. A few tasty meals and some jam to Father in law for help with the garden. Hand knit hats for machine sewn fabric bags. Makes a lot of difference to us. We really don’t have money but we both make and create many things so paying with hand made good or my cooking means we can afford stuff we wouldn’t be able to otherwise

  4. Heather-Gaia Thorpe
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations on such a successful day. What a wonderful turn out
    Cheers

  5. Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What a fantastic day! I had such a great time – Michael’s cucurbit seed saving lecture was awesome, as was Diego’s edible weed forage – such a privilege :D Did some seed swapping and took home a zucchini as big as my yoga mat haha Really keen to do some courses soon. Thanks team :)

  6. Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love this…perfect community behavior, I would love to organise something like this in my part of the world :)

  7. Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Veeeery happy to be able to help. Next time next year. Yay. x

  8. magaly
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    please let me know next one please

  9. Posted May 13, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    did the girl in the woohoo picture swap one of her shoes?

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