The Obi Surplus was originally a blatant attempt to access oranges dripping from a tree in the Obi Obi and at the same time provide a venue to get rid of an oversupply of cucumbers. It has now been operating for over three years with the Obi Obi Hall kindly providing a free and beautiful venue.

It works like this: bring what you don’t want or need from your house or garden (surplus), put it on one of the tables, then take what you like home.

There is no bartering or swapping or quantities or money ever. As everything you bring is surplus to your needs you can give it freely.

And then you can enjoy the taking and enjoying of other people’s surplus.

Some examples of surplus from the house : clothes, toys, books, shoes, dvds, kitchenware, kefir, tools, old jewellery etc. Examples of surplus from the garden: plants, produce, cuttings, seeds, honey, flowers, eggs, manure etc.

Anything leftover is taken to the ‘Shed the Light’ op shop in Kenilworth.

Every month we also ask a participant to demonstrate a skill or share some knowledge. As we are a casual crowd this can be as simple or complicated as needed. Nearly everyone has a go and we have had demonstrations ranging from origami to killing chickens and preparing them for dinner to learning about writing press releases.

This is a very child friendly event and a great way for you and your kids to make new friends.

Even if you have nothing physical to bring we would love you to come and share your smile.

Sneakily inbuilt into every Surplus are the seeds of resilience and community building. Encouragement and hope are in every loaded table ready to look through. People talk and connect.  Children run around making their own fun. There is the possibility of providing for ourselves and each other through the bounty that surrounds us.

Melissa Van Kenyon