Sharing sheds prove popular

Bream Bay's new "sharing sheds" – community stands for people to exchange food – are working well.

"They're going even better than we hoped," said organiser Tracey Collins. "We've had really positive community feedback."

Since coming up with the idea a couple of months ago after seeing similar sharing stalls in other New Zealand communities, Collins has been stunned with the support she's received.

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"People really want to help each other, especially in our lovely caring Bream Bay community," she said.

Crystal Collins delivering freshly picked radishes to the Ruakākā sharing shed. Photo/Tracey Collins
Crystal Collins delivering freshly picked radishes to the Ruakākā sharing shed. Photo/Tracey Collins

Collins floated the idea in the One Tree Point Grapevine Facebook group in August and was immediately inundated with messages of help. "My inbox just exploded."

She approached Northpine for discounted timber, and the company offered to donate all the timber. Fresha Valley's Paul Jensen offered his builders to make the stalls, along with the additional materials needed.

"They are very well constructed and will service the community for a long time," said Collins.

The idea of the community stands is simple, she says. "It is 'sharing is caring' – take what you need and share what you can."

She encourages people with excess fruit on their trees or vegetables in their garden to drop them at one of the stands or contact the Bream Bay Sharing Sheds Facebook page if they're unable to pick or transport the crop.

So far there are two Sharing Sheds operating in Bream Bay, one outside Lifepoint Church in One Tree Point and another at the Bream Bay Trust in Ruakaka. Another will open soon in Waipu, with its location yet to be confirmed.

"We've put a lot of thought into where the stands go," said Collins. "They need to be accessible and safe for pedestrians as well as have parking nearby and be sheltered from the elements."

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Cooked items or anything needing refrigeration cannot be accepted, and eggs must be dated. Volunteers keep the stands clean and tidy. "I think people really want to help each other, but everyone is so busy now that they don't have time to meet up with their neighbours the way they used to," said Collins.

"This is getting back to simple old-fashioned days of sharing with neighbours – bringing the community together to help themselves."

Show day numbers down
Numbers were down at both Ruakākā and Waipu schools' annual show days due to the cattle bovine disease Mycoplasma Bovis.

The Ministry for Primary Industries advised schools throughout New Zealand not to hold calf club days, as the disease is transmitted from animal to animal through close contact so taking calves to a school pet day could spread it.

Alanni Tomes waits patiently for her lamb in the ring at Ruakākā School's show day. Photo/Julie Paton
Alanni Tomes waits patiently for her lamb in the ring at Ruakākā School's show day. Photo/Julie Paton

Lambs and goats were still permitted. Some dairy farming children chose to take lambs, with parents used to rearing calves finding lambs far easier.

Trophy winners at Waipu for goats were:
Elise Doherty (Jensen Trophy for Endeavour), Liam Hansen (Kids 1st Childcare Trophy for the most points by a first year competitor), Flynn Troost (van Bloomestein Cup for the best reared goat), Shenae Speedy (Reserve Champion goat), Lucy Troost (Glengarry Cup for Champion goat); and for lambs: Harry Hoddle (McKenzie Trophy for Endeavour), Arlo Mitchell (goodGround Trophy for the most points by a first year competitor), Allistair Martin (Bream Bay News Cup best senior lamb), Tom Wigram (Bream Bay News Cup best junior lamb), James Lynch (Reserve Champion lamb), Allistair Martin (Millar Trophy Champion lamb). At Ruakaka, the winners were: Jackson Whitehead (Most obvious pet senior), Aylee Kay (Most obvious pet junior), Hunta Dry (Junior Champion lamb, Reserve Champion lamb), Brennan Kay (Senior Champion lamb, Overall Champion Lamb)

Spring garden show
Marsden Bay Garden Club's annual spring show is on tomorrow (12noon-3.30pm) and Saturday (9am-2pm) at the Ruakākā Memorial Hall on State Highway 1. Check out the blooms, bouquets and vegetables, along with a plant stall, produce sale, refreshments and crafts. Admission $2, children free. Contact Judy Fraser 432 7774 or Sue Radford 432 8114.

Waipu museum development
This weekend Waipu Museum will hold a public consultation to discuss planned developments to the museum. Plans are available on the Waipu Museum website. Head along to Waipu's Celtic Barn from 1pm to 5pm Saturday or 11am-3.30pm Sunday (the architect's presentation is 1-1.45pm Sunday). Check out the plans, talk to staff and board members, and give your feedback. The closing date for all feedback is 3.30pm Sunday.

Brynderwyn bush walk
Explore the views and bush on the top of the Brynderwyns and support the Waipu Cycle and Walkway group by joining them for a walk or cycle this Sunday at 9am from the top of Massey Rd. A piper will start everyone off and you can finish off with morning tea and maybe win the bike raffle. Bring children, keep dogs on leads. Parking at the top of Massey Rd, follow the signs.

■ Email Julie Paton at moojoy@xtra.co.nz if you've got Bream Bay news to share with Northern Advocate readers.