Posts Tagged ‘bartering’

Crop and Swap Feb 2017

I haven’t attended a crop and swap in quite a while; one because they’re an 80km round trip for me, and secondly – I’ve run out of honey! I haven’t harvested honey since November 2016. The season has been a bit odd and a lot of colonies have failed around the Sydney basin due to infestation of small hive beetle overcoming them, or not enough pollen/nectar due to the funny weather.

Up until now, I have just been doing one-on-one swaps, and racking up an incredible number of kilometres on the car.

But for the last crop and swap for February 2017, I figured that I would make an effort to head to the proper event in Lane Cove.

Crop and swap – out:

Crop and swap - out

This is what I brought with me to the swap event. Two pots of thyme. Two jars of preserved guava – from 2015. I didn’t think it would be safe to bring or subject anyone else to my jars of unset seville marmalade (5 years ago), or various guava jams and guava jellies, made even longer ago! Two jars of kombucha scoby “jerky”.Two packets of native frangipani seeds, collected from my own tree. Beeswax (of course), some rendered as cupcakes, and some as it had come out of my solar wax extractor.

Crop and swap – in:

Crop and swap Feb 2017 - in

1.5litres of worm wee. Kale. Warrigal greens. Genovese Basil. Armenian cucumber. 2 cloves of garlic. 2 finger limes. 1 lime. Lemon balm (plant). 3 chilli peppers – one of them was a scotch bonnet. I love getting chillies, I love their shape, but I can’t eat them!

I had put in a special request for bee friendly plants, so I ended up with several kinds of salvia cuttings (black knight, hot lips, something with bluish flowers, one with lilac/blue flowers); Fruit salad sage cuttings and indian borage. There was a shopping bag filled with chocolate mint. I was debating whether or not I could try and and get a curry leaf branch to take as a cutting (since I had failed earlier in the month), and then another crop swapper offered me a seedling from her garden, I just had to pop past on my way home.

For the seeds I got some for crookneck squash, kohlrabi, dill, and ‘warpaint watermelon’ – which were a wonderful iridescent blue colour. With a name like that, I thought the watermelon would be similarly coloured, but a search for information on the seeds says not.

My drive home was in a scented lemon-ish, chocolate mint haze.

I then spent the afternoon potting my newly acquired cuttings in the glorious, glorious sprinkling rain, and playing “identify this cutting”.

I stir fried the warrigal greens as a side dish to dinner

I turned the fruit salad leaf cuttings (which I had had taken off to reduce transpiration loss) into a iced tea tissane:

Herb infusion


Cornersmith, Marrickville

I really like the Cornersmith ethos. Locals trading in an over abundance of produce that they can’t deal with, and in return getting some preserves, chutneys or similar from the store. Not only that, they run classes on cheesemaking, pickling and smoking. Yum. My only quibble is that although they declare that they’re are against “factory farming”, they have chosen a style of rooftop beekeeping that is the factory farming of the beekeeping world (Langstroth).

It is a little bit out of my way, so that’s why it’s taken me a couple of years to get there to try it out, apart from a passing coffee a year or so ago.

Plum, apple and raspberry shake ($4):

Shake @ Cornersmith

I ordered this as a kids sized shake (the adult one is $6), and it was delivered in a little mock glass milk bottle with an artistic streak of flavouring dribbling down against the rim. I was slightly dissapointed that there wasn’t a red and white striped paper straw. This was delicious, and got me to thinking why milkshakes have to be boring chocolate, strawberry or vanilla. Perhaps I could preserve some guava ‘syrup’ this year for future milkshakes.

Poached Egg and Ham Roll ($12):

Egg roll @ Cornersmith

The ham is pastured fed. This is served with aioli, and a very moreish apple and beetroot salad. Of course, once you squash the bread roll in order to fit it into your mouth, the egg yolk explodes and drips all over the place. This is not a thing to order if you don’t like to get messy.

Ploughman’s platters and sandwiches available for lunch; other dishes with eggs and additional salad ‘sides’. Seasonal menu with local produce. What’s not to like?

Cornersmith Cafe (& Picklery)
street: 314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, NSW 2204

Phone: 61-2-80650844
M-F: 0630 – 1530
S-S 0730 -1530.

Also open for dinner from 1730 Thu, Fri, Sat.
Also open for dinner from 1730 Thu, Fri, Sat.