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Farmers Havrvesting Organic Vegetables

how to be a guardian of crop swap

Being a Crop Swap guardian is a beautiful and rewarding opportunity for building connections in your community and setting the tone for your individual Crop Swap. 


A few days before the gathering set up a Facebook event and send out an email with an invitation. Write up a short text referring to the season or special crops or whatever comes to my mind to help people getting into the right Crop Swap mood.


On the day itself, go to the venue a bit earlier with your Crop Swap box (see next point), unlock the door and start setting up the welcome table and the produce table.


Ideas for what is in your Crop Swap box;

  • Crop Swap banner to advertise the location.

  • Box for Koha

  • Pens and a Crop Swap sign in sheet where people can put their name and email down so you can add them to your Crop Swap email list.

  • Reusable name tags, so people can easily get to know each other.

  • A small bucket and a cloth are handy for wiping the tables at the end.


Greet arriving people, admire the things that they are bringing, look out for people who come for the first time and make them feel welcome and comfortable by explaining to them how it all works.


Take photos of the tables to post to Facebook after the event. This will help to inspire others to join next time and know what they can bring.

Guardian 3.jpg


After half an hour of chatting get everyone’s attention and welcome them officially. Explain how the swap works – move slowly around the tables, take a small amount of something so there is enough for others, go around a second and third time to take more if it is still there. Put a big emphasis on the ethics, give room for community notices and mention the date and time of the next meeting.


If the group is not too big everybody can have a turn to introduce their produce. For big meetings, skip that part as it might take too long. Then, invite everyone to take what they fancy, in big gatherings reminding everyone to take their time and so that elders, children and slower people are safe and included too. Happy Sharing!!!


Stand back a little and observe the sharing but then join in as well. If you notice something that doesn't feel quite right, as it isn't aligned with the values, observe a little more and think about ways that can help us all to learn from it. Sometimes it just needs a different set up. Sometimes you may want to mention something in the next welcome, on rare occasions you may need to speak to people privately.


Clean up together, if anything is left over the person who bought it, takes it home. You could also drop it off at a local pātaka kai/community pantry. Pack up, lock the door and add new addresses to your email list. Done!

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