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Food Swaps around Brisbane | Including a list of community gardens

Food swaps, co-ops and food sharing around Brisbane is an increasingly popular trend for local people. Find out why here.

What is a food swap?

Food swaps are a non-monetary exchange where people in the local community come together to bring their own produce or home-made goods and take home someone else’s. There is no money involved but those that are swapping or sharing come to an agreement on what they think is fair. It pretty much works on the honesty system.
Whilst there are no hard and fast rules, swappers are expected to be mindful of what is a fair exchange. Eggs and honey have a higher value than seeds or a recipe, for example, while fruit for vegetables is an equal exchange, but there are no definite rules about weighing produce or what is a fair swap. You need to come to an agreement with the person you are swapping with. This is said to be one of the beautiful thing about food swaps – they are purely an honesty system.

What do people swap at a food swap?

food swaps Brisbane

Lots of different things can be swapped at a local food swap:
  • Home grown produce – fruit, veggies, bunches to herbs (tied together), nuts, honey, eggs
  • Homemade products – jams, marmalades, preserves, pickles, dried fruit, sauces, cordials
  • Garden improvers – worm juice, chicken/horse/cow manure, used feed bags
  • Household storage – jars, baskets, reusable containers

Why do people go to food swaps?

The mosts common reason people attend food swaps it because they want to tread more lightly on our planet. Food swaps are for local produce and supplies by local people. This cuts out the ‘middle man’ and can reduces costs (swapping for other produce rather than money). It reduces food miles transporting food from both overseas and interstate and can help to create food stability on a local scale. It is better for the environment. The food is usually grown without pesticides or other chemicals so often better for you. People also go to food swaps to share their gardening stories, swap hints and tips and talk with like-minded people. It’s a beautiful thing!

Where are the food swaps around Brisbane?

There are new food swaps, harvest sharing and co-ops popping up all the time. These are the ones we know about so far!

The Brookfield Food Swaps

food swaps brisbane

The Brookfield food swap is held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, from 9am-10am at the intersection of Adavale Street and Savages Road, Brookfield, 4069. It is run by local residents and totally not for profit. No money at all changes hands and there is no cost to participate and no strings attached. Everyone is welcome. See more on Brookfield Food Swap Facebook page.

Green Dean’s Crop Swaps

food swaps brisbane

Now in its 6th year, Green Dean’s Crop Swaps is a monthly community gathering to share, swap, trade and talk about fresh organic home-grown produce, home-made food, recyclables and green ideas.

Here’s what they say about their food swaps

  • They are a 100% not-for-profit project
  • All members of the community are welcome
  • All homegrown vegies, fruit, herbs, seedlings, seeds, plants, trees, flowers, craft, and homemade food are welcome
  • No amount of produce is too small or too big to bring along
  • It’s a great place to share food and garden tips, info and ideas

Find out more on his Facebook page.

Brisbane Local Food

Brisbane Local Food is a local website created to build capacity in the Brisbane community for growing, buying, and living sustainably. Six years on, BLF is an important hub to promote, discuss, share and learn about local food growing, production, gardens, services and activities happening in Brisbane. Membership is free and you will be joining a collection of people who have come together to create food swaps as well as other ideas, events and activities to help Brisbane become more green and sustainable. You can find their website here.

Turnstyle Bulk Buyers Co-op & food swap

Turnstyle Bulk Buyers is a community co-operative, who use their combined purchasing power to buy, swap and share local, ethically produced food and household goods. They are a group of local Brisbane people, with a common interest in food, and a desire to consume mostly seasonal, local, organic produce while avoiding supporting the big corporations that are controlling much of our consumer world! They buy in bulk, as directly from the producer as is possible, providing the producer with a fair price while skipping the middle man and avoiding price mark ups, therefore keeping good quality, ethical, and environmentally sound food reasonably priced for their members.

Val’s Veg Co-op

Located at The Gap. Every second Wednesday, they buy bulk produce and share them among families who have registered an interest. They currently group buy dairies, bread, fruit and vegetable (mixed boxes and extras) and some dry groceries bulk. From time to time, they also share harvest from their garden. You can find out more on their Facebook page here.

Community garden food swaps

Many community gardens also hold their own food swaps around Brisbane. One such on is the Salisbury Community Garden which held theirs recently. We’ve listed all the community gardens we know about here.

This movement is growing in popularity. If you know of any we haven’t included. Add them in comments and we will add to our main article. Enjoy!

More local gardening information

Gardening with children articles

Find more great articles about enjoying family time around the home here.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “Food Swaps around Brisbane | Including a list of community gardens”

  1. Hello
    I coordinate a Home Produce Swap Group in Toowoomba.
    We have been running for 3 years.
    We meet on the first Saturday of the month at the East Creek Neighbourhood Centre ( Kitchener st) 9-11am.
    Members also swap throughout the month via our Face Book Group.
    “ Toowoomba Home Produce Swap Group”


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