Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Spare Harvest started?

Spare Harvest was started when Helen experienced a glut of citrus fruit from her trees.  She shared as much as she could with her family and friends, but they too were also experiencing a glut of their own.  She even tried to share a bag of mandarins with her son’s teacher.  As soon as she walked through the door, she was asked to take the bag back home as she too had too much fruit and didn’t want anymore.  Helen finished the season with her burying the excess in to the ground as she even had too much to compost.  This broke her heart when she knew their were neighbors that were still heading to the shops to purchase their fruit.  Helen knew there had to be a better way.

She tried sharing her fruit of Facebook in some closed groups, but found that she did not get many responses because her post was lost in people’s feeds.  She too experienced this.  One day there was a post for some lovely produce in her feed.  When she wanted to access this produce a couple of days later, she could not find it in her feed.  There were other websites but they were focused on selling produce.

Don't waste tasty produce, share it on Spare Harvest

Helen with her mandarin tree that started it all.

Helen realised that as a gardener she had other things in her garden that she could share.  There were lots of black pots sitting under the house, a fruit picker that she did not use all the time, plants that were wasted when she moved a garden bed and various landscaping materials.  Yes, there were closed groups that Helen could connect with to share what she could, but once again our news feeds as so full that we can’t find what we want when we want.  The food websites did not allow for sharing anything other than food, so Helen created her own website – Spare Harvest.  It would be a sharing platform that gardeners and farmers could share what they had spare – food and other garden resources.

Why do we need Spare Harvest?

Community – with so much technology and social media at our finger tips, we should feel more connected than ever before.  In fact it is the opposite, we are more disconnected than ever before.  Communities are important because they allow people to interact with each other, share experiences, develop valued relationships and work toward a common goal. Without communities, people would have to live isolated lives with minimal or no contact outside of their immediate circle. Spare Harvest is about creating new food and garden community connections outside our immediate circle.  When you join Spare Harvest you connect with other members around a common goal – food and garden. 

Environment – in a time when we consume more of everything, we also waste more than we have ever before.  It is taking a toll on our environment and planet and it is time we stop what we are currently doing and start making a positive impact on our environment.  More than 50% of landfill is made up of organic waste.  As organic waste, of which the majority is food, decomposes in landfill it produces a greenhouse gases called methane.  Methane gas is 20X more potent to our planet than carbon dioxide.  As gardeners, we try to compost as much as possible, but we seem to have more than we need.  This is more true when we experience a glut of produce in our gardens and farms.  Not only do we waste this resource, but every other resource used to grow the produce.

Although organic waste is dangerous to our environment, so is non-organic waste.  This type of waste is buried in the ground and will take many years to break down, if ever.  There are many non-organic resources that we could be sharing in our communities.  Your trash is another person’s treasure and until now unless we have a conversation around what we are throwing in the bin, we did not know what was available in our community.  Members of Spare Harvest are using everyday household items to repurpose and keep them from ending up in landfill.  Don’t throw your tins or glass jars away, create a listing on Spare Harvest to let your community know what you have spare.

Collaborative/Sharing Economies – Spare Harvest has entered the marketplace at a time when there is a lot of interest around connecting and sharing.  You only have to look at the growth of enterprises like Uber and AirBnB.  According to PwC the Sharing Economy is worth $15bn per year and is projected to soar to $335bn in 10 years.  What the Sharing Economy delivers is convenience, choice, and value.  Spare Harvest gives every member of a community to the ability to connect and share excess produce, garden items, local knowledge, and tips.

Poverty & Budget StressAlmost half the world, over three billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.  We are currently experiencing unprecedented budget stress.  The cost of living is increasing while our income has not moved in real terms.  Spare Harvest provides vulnerable members of communities the opportunity to access fresh local produce either for free or for at small cost.  Some members have even started their own herb garden from cuttings that have received free from other members.  Spare Harvest members are a generous lot and would rather see their produce and garden resources shared than wasted.

Food Security – Our Spare approach to food security is to tap into produce and resources that are spare in our gardens and farms. There is an opportunity for all of us to connect with urban farmers and producers in our local communities and access another source of fresh, local, tasty, nutritionally rich food that would otherwise be wasted.  One person’s trash is another’s treasure and we need to keep our valuable resources circulating in our communities to support our planet and its people.   It’s time we took back responsibility and control of our food security.  Just as it was done during World War II when Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady at the time, planted a Victory Garden on the White House lawn and encouraged those at home to be less reliant on rationed food supplies and to grow their own food to supplement their basic needs. Victory Gardens worked!  It’s time we got back to that and connected with our community to share the harvest.

Why is Spare Harvest a Social Enterprise?

A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits to ensure they remain sustainable.

The success of a social enterprise is measured by the impact they make in a social, cultural or environmental spaces, as well as their financial sustainability. Social enterprises purpose is to provide a community or environmental benefit rather than just financial gain.

Spare Harvest is committed to making a positive impact in both the social and environmental spaces.  We want this impact to continue for as long as possible and to ensure our viability we need to be sustainable.  The best way to be sustainable is to be profitable.  As a profitable social enterprise we can continue to invest in making our planet a better place.

Spare Harvest is a simple and easy to use marketplace for foodies and growers.

There are three different activities you can do on Spare Harvest – SHARE, SEARCH, and CONNECT.

SHARE

Hands holding a growing plant

Have something to share or looking for something? Then let us know by creating a listing.  When you create a listing you will be asked to choose the following:

Listing Type – Share, Swap, Sell, Wanted

Listing Category – Individual, Community, Farmer, Business

For more information on how to create a listing, check out the Listings Tab.

SEARCH

Ripe red pomegranate on Spare Harvest

It is free and easy to search our member listings.  Firstly chose the ‘Search Listings’ option. You then have several search options:

Location – Choose the map option and zoom into your area or put in a location in the location search option at the top.

Category – type in the type of item you are looking for or choose one of the cateogries – Food, Garden, Service or Experience and then choose from their options.

You can narrow down you search by choosing the type of listing – Individual, Business, Community or Farmer.

CONNECT

Hands holding a small plant

If  you find something then simply connect & make an enquiry. Click the ‘Make an Enquiry’ button on the listing.  You will be able to send a secure message to the member with the listing.

Ask any questions you like about their listing.  They will get a notification and will respond to your enquiry as soon as they can.  Once you are happy, secure an exchange & meet up.  It’s that easy.

Enjoy the experience of meeting another member.  Get hints and tips and make a new friend.

Why should I join?

Spare Harvest is committed to reducing our waste footprint by connecting members who have something to share.  There are untapped resources in our gardens and farms that is being wasted and sent to landfill.  Organic waste that makes it into landfill produces methane gas.  Methane gas is 20x more damaging to our planet than carbon dioxide.  Our organic waste is worse than our cars to our environment.  Spare Harvest gives us all the opportunity to to re-purpose our trash before we dispose of it in the bin.  Your trash is another person’s treasure.

Everyone now has an opportunity to make a difference.  Join Spare Harvest to:

  • Connect with other like-minded people in your community
  • Have a local experience when you travel
  • Reduce our waste footprint and our foodmiles
  • Save or make a little money
  • Find fresh local tasty produce
  • Help create an efficient food system
  • Find local garden resources
  • Connect with local farmers and businesses
  • Know your food’s story
  • Connect with other members on Spare Harvest to share what we have spare.

How do I signup?

Individual – Either signup using the Facebook option or use both your first and last names to signup.

Individual – Either signup using the Facebook option or use both your first and last names to signup.  To protect your privacy, we will only show your first name.

Business, Community/School Organization or a Not For Profit – DO NOT USE THE FACEBOOK OPTION.  Put  the name of your enterprise as the first name when you signup.

If you wish to change it later, you can.  Simply login again and choose to edit your profile.  Change the name and then save and it will be updated straight away.

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How do I update my membership details?

  1. Login
  2. Choose ‘Profile’ in the menu.
  3. Click ‘Edit Profile’
  4. Update your Profile and click ‘Save Changes’

Your profile is an opportunity to share something about yourself so we can get to know you.  Add in some pictures.

How much are the membership fees?

Membership is FREE for individuals, Community Gardens, School Gardens and Not For Profit Groups.  You are free to search and create listings at any time.

Businesses pay an annual membership fee of $495.00 renewed annually.

Spare Harvest provides any business in the food, garden or farming space to advertise and promote their products and services to a dedicated community interested in purchasing from you.  You can cancel your membership at any time according to our Terms and Conditions of Use.

Is my personal information secure?

Your personal information is secure.  We provide a secure online message service that you can use to connect any member without providing your personal information.  Once you are comfortable you can share your personal details to the other member.  We also ask that you do not provide your full address details when creating a listing.  Your street and suburb is all that required to create a listing.  You can provide your exact address once you have connected with another member and feel comfortable in doing so.

Your information is important to us.  We keep you information secure in the following ways:

  • Members will be known as the username that you create in the signup process, not your real name (Unless they are the same).
  • Listing members are asked not to supply their apartment or street number when they a create a listing.
  • We do not share your personal information with any advertisers or third parties.
  • You have to create a password.
  • Spareharvest.com is protected by a password and encrypted by HTTPS.
  • All membership and listing data is protected under Australian privacy laws.

How do I create a listing?

Listings can be created when you have something to share, swap or sell or it you are looking for something.

Firstly you must signup and become a member.  Then follow this process for creating a listing:

  • Once you have signed in, click “+ New Listing” which is in the top right hand corner in a green box.
  • Choose the category – Food, Garden, Services, Experiences.
  • Choose the appropriate sub-category depending on what you have available.
  • Choose the listing type – Share, Swap, Sell, Wanted
  • Create a listing title – typically the title will have the name of what you have or want
  • Write a detailed description.  The more detail the better as it will help members understand that you have or want.
  • Select the Listing Type – Individual, Community Organization, Business or Farmer
  • Enter your location.  We recommend you enter your complete address WITHOUT  your street and apartment number.  Google will attempt to find the address.  Ensure your address is correct before you save your listing.
  • Upload pictures from your computer or your phone.  If you are using a mobile device, simply take the photos and upload them to your listing.  You can add several photos.
  • The save your listing.

You can change or close your listing at any time.  We understand that there will be times when you don’t have anything to share or want.  Simply close your listing.  You can reopen it and update when you have something to share or want.  Listings are flexible to take into account the seasonality of our produce.

If you close your listing, you can continue to search the Spare Harvest database for other items offered by other Spare Harvest members.

How do I edit my listing?

You can edit your listing at any time.

  • Sign-in
  • Select your “Profile”
  • Select your listing
  • Select “Edit Listing” which is at the top right hand corner above your photo.  You can edit any parts of your listing and then save them.

How to I cancel my listing?

You can close and re-open your listing at any time.

  • Sign-in
  • Select your “Profile”
  • Select your listing
  • Select “Close Listing” which is at the top right hand corner above your photo

You can login in at anytime to re-open your listing and edit it.