Yackandandah Community Garden Food Swap trades more than produce

GARDEN PARTY: Yackandandah Community Garden committee members Megan Vincent and Vicki Honey check the site. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
GARDEN PARTY: Yackandandah Community Garden committee members Megan Vincent and Vicki Honey check the site. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

THE basil is abundant, zucchinis grow before your eyes while fresh salad ingredients are bountiful.

Yackandandah Community Garden’s summer crop is ripe for the picking.

Yackandandah Community Garden committee spokeswoman Vicki Honey said it was prime time for the garden.

She said summer salad varieties and fresh herbs were abundant.

“At the moment we’ve got lots of basil, zucchinis, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, spring onions and cucumber,” she said.

Ms Honey said produce would be plentiful at the next Yackandandah Community Garden food swap on site on January 20. 

“I would expect lots of produce because every home gardener has excess at the moment,” she said.

“I’ll be bringing beans and tomatoes.”

Ms Honey said the food swap was held on the third Saturday of each month to coincide with Lions Club Market weekend.

She said people could bring their own produce to swap, make a donation for produce or simply catch up with like-minded people.

“If you don’t have anything to swap at the stall you can still come along; there will be enough produce for everyone,” she said.

“One lady brought a car boot full of peaches once while another brought homemade scones.”

Ms Honey said a monthly gardening or cookery workshop coincided with the food swap.

“This month’s workshop is on growing herbs in the garden,” Ms Honey said.

Developed in partnership with Sustainable Gardening Australia and funded through the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust Bushfire Grants Fund, Yackandandah Community Garden was established in William Street about six years ago.

The fund was established after the 2009 Victorian bushfires to help restore community life in rural towns. 

Ms Honey said the project provided much more than produce and gardening workshops.

“With there being so much anxiety and depression in the world, they’ve done studies that have shown putting your hands in the dirt helps,” she said.

“We have kids come down to the garden and after they start asking a few questions, they leave feeling really connected.

“It’s getting people connected to the soil and back to their roots.”

The community garden, opposite the Yackandandah swimming pool, has a barbecue kitchen, pizza oven and preserving table.

The community food swap on January 20 starts at 9.30am followed by the workshop at 10.30am.