Ian Lacey, from Nanango Home Produce Share, shows some of the “leftovers” at the end of Sunday’s swap meet … he says he always has to encourage swappers to take more home with them

July 17, 2016

A new community exchange system that has been running in Nanango for the past three months is set to expand to Wondai.

The Nanango Home Produce Share – where locals swap surplus garden produce and other household items with one another – had its third outing at Ringsfield House on Sunday.

About 30 people braved the cold, wet conditions for a couple of hours of browsing, swapping and chatting to one another outside the Coach House.

The idea for the swap meet came about in May when a few members of the South Burnett Permaculture Group decided to give the concept a try.

Ian Lacey, one of the Home Produce Share’s founders, said the aim of the event was simple: create a place where people could bring along surplus produce and share it with others.

“It’s not about money,” Ian said.

“There are lots of places where people can sell produce if they want to. It’s about sharing, staying positive and having fun.”

Ian said there had been some initial concerns the concept might not work because some people might abuse the system, but that hadn’t proved to be the case at all.

Instead, he had seen a sort of “group mind” develop amongst everyone who came along to the last three meets.

“The way it’s turned out, we actually have to encourage people to take surplus produce home with them at the end of each swap because no one wants to be seen taking more than they put in,” Ian said.

Ian also praised Ringsfield House for supporting the idea, allowing the Home Produce Share to use their grounds free of charge.

On Sunday, the swap meet was offering citrus, tumeric, rhubarb, turnips, black russian tomatoes, leafy vegetables and baby carrots, along with a separate stand featuring everything from old gardening magazines and potted plants to organic chilli bug sprays and egg cartons.

Ian said the produce on offer differed from month to month, and the range would probably expand when Spring comes around.

“A couple of months ago we had lots of chillis, right now it’s citrus, and in a few months we’ll probably have a lot of seedlings. Things vary depending on the season,” he said.

“We’re also happy to provide people with advice if they want to get involved but don’t think they have anything to share. There’s nearly always something that can be swapped.”

The Nanango Home Produce Share runs at Ringsfield House in Alfred Street on the third Sunday of each month between 9:00am and 10:30am.

A second Home Produce Share will be starting up in the grounds of Dimities Cottage at 49 Haly Street, Wondai on Sunday, August 7

Intending swappers can set up at 9:00am, and the swap meet will run between 9:30am and 10:30am.

The Home Produce Share group can also be contacted through their Facebook page.

[Photos: southburnett.com.au and Ian Lacey]

Earlier in the day, the Produce Swap was offering fresh rhubarb, lemons, grapefruits, russian black tomatoes and tumeric
Chatting is a part of Home Produce Share meetings
Apart from food, non-edible items can also be swapped
Turnips, carrots and different varieties of home-grown lemons were available too

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