Food swaps are where people within a community swap (or give) excess homegrown produce including fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, seeds, seedlings, homemade preserves and gardening tips. They are money-free and run on a volunteer basis.
At their heart Food Share Groups are really about sharing beautiful food, creating friendships, building stronger communities and reducing waste. They can also open into food preserving – group members processing excess produce to be shared among the members, i.e. preserving tomato passata or making pickles.
How we organize our local food swap….
a designated volunteer how sends an email out mid-month to inform everyone of the day, time and venue of the next event
a second email is sent as a reminder the Friday prior to the food share (we generally hold ours on Sunday mornings)
members try to host an event at their house when possible
everyone encourages other members of the community to join
we all have a great time swapping food, sharing recipes and catching up with neighbors
What happens if we all have the same thing and there’s excess produce left at the event? We donate it to a local organization, school or person who can use it. For example, if we have too many zucchinis the local Steiner school runs a kitchen garden program and they are happy to process any fruit and vegetables with the children to teach them how to manage a ‘glut’.
To get started, talk with like-minded members of your community to get an email list going. Start meeting as soon as possible even if you aren’t producing much – it will encourage people to start planting more in their gardens!