No Shopping Challenge Day 12 - Bartering

Today was my community Crop & Swap meet. Once a month we get together in a local hall and swap our home made produce with each other. It's a cashless way to get some fruit and veg that we may not be able to grow at home and stock our cupboards with delicious local chutney, jam, muesli, and more.

Today I took along 3L of organic unsweetened yoghurt (in 7 jars), 3 small jars of lemon and mint cordial, two kombucha cultures with starter tea, four tomato plants, and a big bowl of cucumbers (but forgot the camera so here is a grainy mobile phone pic of our mat).

The kombucha cultures went in seconds so I'll definitely try and get some more ready in time to take along to February's meeting. The yoghurt was another big success. At the end of the 45 minutes we had swapped everything except the tomato plants - I guess everyone has tomato plants at the moment! We popped them into the 'Share Barrow' at the end - the spot for leftover freebies as well as donated magazines and egg cartons.

This is what we received in return:

Here we have:

Coffee beans roasted yesterday
Ginger beer starter
Pineapple sage plant
Chocolate mint plant
Hummus (hommus for you Aussie folk)
Apricot jam
Plum paste
Mulberry syrup
Lavender and Chamomile soap
Spicy peach chutney
Medlar fruit chutney
Medlar jam
3 magnets
Chilli jam
The most beautiful maple syrup and cranberry muesli

Isn't that amazing? I feel like I've been gifted the most incredible hamper of locally made food. For my part, it took me a couple of hours to make and bottle the yoghurt and about an hour to do the rest of it. I spent maybe $8 on ingredients for my contributions.

Bartering is the perfect thing to get into while you're doing a no shopping challenge. If there's something you need think about who might have it and see if there's anything you could swap for it. Maybe you have a crop & swap in your local area. If you do, be brave and give it a try. Not only will you come home with lots of yummy treats but you'll meet some fun and interesting people too!


  1. Wow! What a haul!!! well done!

    1. Thanks :) the best part of it is that everyone goes home really happy with their things. It's such a feel good thing to do. It's made me think about what else I could swap. I have cushions and bags I've made downstairs just sitting there.. I'm wondering what I could get for them now!

  2. Love it ... need to find me some kombucha starter here in NZ ... guessing you can't post :-)

    1. I guess because it's alive I wouldn't be allowed to, but I'm sure there would be somewhere online to get one. I bought my first culture on eBay.

  3. such a great idea! When we move home, they are trying to start a community group including skill sharing, so hope it takes off. Only problem is that I don't have anything to trade!S

  4. I love this! Can you give me some details about how it all works? I'd love to get one started here in our community, but just wondering exactly how you go about it. :)

    1. Sure. Once a month everyone gets together in a community hall and there's a gold coin donation entry which helps pay for the hall and insurance. There's half an hour to set up your mat and look at what everyone else has brought and then the bell rings and you have about 45 mins to an hour to swap. Items must be hand made or home grown, of good quality, and the swap must be fair (and you can say no to a swap if you don't want anything from the other persons mat). There's a share barrow which is a wheel barrow full of free things, usually egg cartons, seedlings, magazines. People also put anything they didn't get rid of in there towards the end. At the end is the apple box, which is a talk by someone on something to do with gardening or self sufficiency. There's also a coffee machine and cakes and the chance to meet people and have a chat. They have a blog with info on the swap and how to start one here
      To help fund the hall they've had some donations from council too I think. It's great fun and an awesome way to get some nice things without using cash.

    2. Oh they have a free starter pack for people wanting to start one. It's here :


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