Permaculture at work – Inside out or Outside in?

Sometimes it takes someone from the outside to be able to see inside.  I was told that we do more than just swap food, so our name (Croydon Food Swap) doesn’t do us justice.  My immediate response was that we don’t do any ‘Permaculture’ at our swaps.  Well, it looks like I opened my mouth too soon, before the words were processed by the grey matter.

I did give the matter a bit more thought later.  According to Wikipedia, the core tenets of permaculture are Care for the earth, Care for the people and Return of surplus.  So in our own way, sharing our produce, our knowledge, our time, and much more, we are practising permaculture instinctively, not by design.  Kind of permaculture inside out, to describe it visually.

I also stumbled upon this article about a swap that started the same time in Margaret River.  Their journey is very much like ours.  Reading it gave me a better perspective of what we are really doing.  And it was encouraging to think that one day we will also be a well established community event.  What we really need now is a place to call home!  Who has an old barn to share?

Now for some homework.  Does anyone think we should change our name to reflect more of what we do?  I guess we do primarily swap but we also welcome new gardeners who don’t have any garden produce to swap yet.  Please share your views by commenting below and the poll.

Lastly, for the next swap which is also the last for the year 2014, I thought it would be nice to have a swap-type Kris Kringle.  By that I mean the gifts should be homemade, something we would normally swap but just made a little more special.  For example, a plant in a pretty pot, a preserve with a festive flavour, yummy baked goods, a handmade bag from recycled material, a tussie mussie or anything else you can think of that’s not just bought off the shelf.  It’s just for a bit of fun so please don’t think you have to spend a lot of time and resource on it, and feel free to opt out and just swap.

So coming back to permaculture…are we practising it inside out or outside in?  Maybe upside down 😀


  1. Roslyn Rodd

    Yes I think a new name explaining more of what we do. I love the thought of a barn to hold our
    meetings can we find one?
    Lovely idea to have a Kris Kringle next meeting lets make it a Christmas gathering. Maybe we could all bring a plate to share as it is a special time of the year. It is nice to show we care about
    our group
    See you Saturday 6th December. Ros


  2. Pingback: Name change | Croydon Food Swap

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