Friday, August 28, 2009

Green Swap

One of my favourite activities each week is going to our local green swap. This week I swapped some Oranges and Tangelos for some fresh Rocket, Marmalade, eggs and sweet pea seeds. I could tell you all about green swap and how it works, but as I have a speech written by my 10 yr old daughter Katelyn  for school I thought I would be a bit lazy and post that instead!

Do you like fresh juicy fruit, crisp healthy veggies, scrummy baking and stuff like that? Well have I got the speech for you! Hi, my name is Katelyn and I am going to tell you about Green Swap.

Green swap is a community event where people who grow or make stuff come together and swap things without paying money for them. Green swap is also called swap meet but they both mean the same thing. Everyone swaps things that are around the same value, like a bag of tomatoes for a bag of beans, or some muffins for a jar of marmalade. That way everyone feels like they’ve had a good deal. So, all you need for a good green swap is something you’ve grown or something you’ve made and a smile!

You can swap all kinds of stuff at the green swap, like fruit, veggies, eggs, milk, baking, meat, flowers, plants and once there was even a live rooster! It’s a social event too, and people swap tips about planting trees, composting, growing veggies and cooking as well as having a good laugh.

Apart from fruit and veggies out of our garden, Dad makes fruit wines and Angela makes preserves like jam and chilli sauce for swapping. Don’t worry the sauce isn’t too hot! It’s not just the adults that go there and do the swapping, in the holidays the parents bring their kids along, it’s really fun and sometimes the kids bring things they have made or collected too, like rose petals for your bath!

My favourite is the milk we get from the Rainbow Valley Farm cow, which has lots of thick cream on it and is so fresh it’s still warm, yummy! And for a delicious breakfast, add the golden yellow free-range eggs, fresh bread that is still warm, with some crispy, crunchy free-range bacon and some oranges for freshly squeezed orange juice. All swapped at Green Swap.

We have our Green Swap every Friday morning at the Matakana Wharf. It starts at about 9:00am and finishes at about 9:30am. Hope to see you all there soon, Bye!

What's Paradise at the Point about?

Island Life? - Just about - Point Wells is actually a little village not far from Matakana, 50 minutes North of Auckland, perched on a sheltered harbour peninsula of deep black peat soil; but it feels just like living on Rarotonga. The feeling is helped by lush vegetation along the roadside, a mix of older bach’s and newer homes, very large section sizes (ranging from 600-2,000m2, with most around 1,000m2), and the very sheltered subtropical climate.

Tractors putt along the road towing their boats to the boat ramp, past the bowling club and croquet club where the only noises are the clack of mallet on ball or bowl on bowl. Aside from birdsong from the scores of Tuis and other native birds, the most noise comes from the local children, playing on the old style lullaby swing that can fit about 15 kids at once or balanced on the Maypole carousel. How many playgrounds have these anymore?

During the day, the harbour is serene, apart from the odd set netter hoping for a few flounder. After school and in the weekends, there are a tribe of kids of all ages at the Point, diving off the jetties, swinging from the rope under the pohutakawa and kayaking up the river. The more adventurous don snorkels and goggles and drift through schools of mullet and the occasional larger fish in the crystal clear water.

Regular events are held at the local hall, including village dinners and dances; fun for any age. Local weddings are often held here and the connoisseurs club caters to those who love food, wine and good company, which is quite a lot of the locals! At Christmas the whole village enjoys Christmas carols in the hall, and year round the little library is well supported.

With the decile 9 primary school only a short bus trip away, a local store, and the bustling market town of Matakana 5 minutes away, most day to day requirements are easily met without driving long distances.

If you can imagine coming here to retire or bring up your children in this idyllic village, and you want a property that suits you and the people you care about, then Andrew and Angela would love to work with you to realise that dream. They have a strong commitment to lifestyle and rural village living, with Angela’s family stretching back 4 generations in Point Wells.

Andrew one of New Zealand’s leading plant experts with two international bestselling books on gardening already to his name and three more books on gardening and sustainable living about to be released. He also writes regular articles for Weekend Gardener magazine.

If you’d like to know more, read Andrew’s property blog at Take your first steps out of the rat race and give them a call now.