Crop Swap Takes Root in Oakura

Published July 14, 2014

Sprouting from organic ideals and a commitment to giving away surplus from the garden and kitchen, the Crop Swap seems to have truly taken root in Oakura.

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday at 4pm you can find our group in the St James Church hall, corner Donnelly and Main South Road (by the zebra crossing).

Organiser, and local resident, Elaine Rollins is still buzzing from the success of the recent “open door” special event. At least 30 people attended and got excited about gardens, and a range of produce including fresh limes, organic kiwifruit, tractor eggs, herbal teas and baking. People were smiling to be giving their things away and to be taking something else home.


One new-comer left to go and get his wife and a boot-load of box hedge which he had just dug out of his garden and didn’t know what to do with. Another swapper was very happy to take the plants, while the man and his wife stayed to eat yakons (a fruitlike vegetable from Peru) and discuss how to grow them.

I ate baby carrots, home baked foccacia bread and drank a kefir pro-biotic brew. I’m now quite interested in kefir and have been doing a bit of research about it. As one of the organisers I am keen to get someone to come into a crop swap and talk about probiotics, especially the kefirs people grow and pass around themselves. The sharing of ideas, neighbour to neighbour networking and gaining information are highlights of Crop Swap Oakura that has led us to organise a string of speakers to do 15 minute power talks at the crop swaps themselves. Raw milk pros and cons, pro-biotics, garlic planting, food additives, composting, immunisation, food as medicine, community gardens, and the seed bank are some of the topics to be covered. The free pieces of cake and sorbet were part of the special “open door crop swap” for just that day. Still you might get something at the next crop swap if you bring something along. And that could be anything from pine-cones to manure, from flaxes to herb cuttings, muffins to eggs, worm juice to lemons. I’m sure we can always rustle up a cup of tea. Please remember to bring along a koha towards the hall rental, and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on what’s on – Crop Swap Taranaki. Next swap Saturday July 26.

Come and join us,

Nathalie Pronk-Jones.

For more information, contact Aileen 027 5244007 or Elaine 027 776 6209.