A food swap network coming to a town near you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

You've labored  away during garden season, filling the Pantry with numerous delectable's.  Some Jarred. Some Dried. Maybe you have dairy goats and preserve their gift into cheese or yogurt. That perfect Pasta you hand make adding your own Garden herbs as you roll out the dough. Maybe a few dozen extra Duck or chicken eggs you would gladly swap out for some local Honey or a Fruit jam you do not have.
These are just a small array of the items you could bring to and find at a Food swap. 
So what exactly IS a Food Swap ?
It’s an event that brings people together to trade their homemade, homegrown, or even foraged food items with one another. There is a system, which involves something similar to a sign up sheet. Like a Silent Auction. You have time to browse what others have brought as well as possibly sample foods if available. There is a Host/ess which will guide you along throughout it all. Telling you when it's time to head back to your table or head off to find the person with the items you wish to swap out for.  Ultimately you decide if you want to swap with what the others may offer. No need to feel uncomfortable declining. It is well advised before hand during the event, trade for what YOU would eat and like and never feel as though you must accept in fear of coming of rude.
My In Laws were the ones to bring our local event to my attention. An article in the  newspaper highlighting this new form of community interaction. Searching the paper for one near you is unnecessary. There is a master mind hot spot where the mass majority of Food Swaps across the nation register their location & guidelines. Take a visit over to the *Food Swap network* where you can browse for one near you. Do keep in mind, some may limit the attendance to just 15-25 people due to the space they have acquired. Requiring you to sign up & reserve a spot on a first come basis. Read their guidelines and expectations carefully. Not all swaps are the same. Some may have items they do not allow such as home made wine or bake Goods. Some may even limit the amount of items you should bring. Either way, swapping out items within your community is a great way to meet other Gardeners, Bakers & Foodies just like you. Not too mention, you walk out with armfuls of new temptations to enjoy.

I am most excited for the one near me. Being we have plenty of  Honey from our hives, I plan to take a decent amount for Bartering items as well as a few packs of our Wine cap mushrooms I dehydrated/ Vac sealed. Hopefully being the two are not as common as garden produce, they will provide a greater interest and leverage for items we would want.
If you click over to the Food Swap network site *at this link* , you will find a more thorough explanation on what the under 2 hours event will entail.

Not able to find a Food swap near you? Why not host one yourself or gather a group of friends to assist in creating one for your area. The local town hall. The school cafeteria. Even the local park or one very kind Hostess with an Open Barn or Out Building. On the links I have shared highlighted in Watermelon Pink {have you noticed they are the same color as my Roto Hoe Monster?}, you will find them filled with helpful information in how to host, spread the news and invite the locals as well as how to register your event & have others sign up to attend. They even provide the PDF file Swap sheets to go with each variety of food your attendee's bring. They truly make it as easy as possible to organize. 

As for what I hope or would like to walk out with, I have to say I would be over joyed to find a greatly reduced sweetener or sugar free Blackberry jam for my wee Frog. Poor thing barely had enough Blackberries from our patch to sustain her desire until next harvest. I truly am not sure what to expect and in no way wish to set high expectations. But I WILL be sure to share with all of you how the day goes. The sights. The smells. The sounds. Of course plenty of pictures and hopefully giving you a sound urging to get out there and find, or even host, a local Food swap.

Sweetest Dreams,



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