Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What is a Food Swap?

What is a food swap?

A food swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade, homegrown, and foraged creations become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. Diversify your pantry while meeting your friends and neighbors!

Who can participate?

We welcome everyone, as long as you bring something you made, grew, or foraged yourself! You must pre-register to attend. If you plan to bring a family member or friend, please register them, as well. And if you’re coming alone, don’t worry – most of us were strangers to begin with and meeting new friends is part of the fun!

Where is it held?

The food swaps are held and the host of the months house. If you are interested in hosting a food swap let us know!

What do people bring?

All swap items must be homemade, homegrown, or foraged by you. Think baked goods, jam, pickles, spreads, honey, vinegar, granola, pasta, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, homemade sausages, backyard eggs … you name it! Bring as little or as much as you like. You can bring a bunch of one thing or multiples of a few different things. The possibilities are endless! If possible, you should also bring samples for others to try.

Keep in mind that swappers will be examining and picking up your goods, so be sure to package them in a way that protects the food and makes it clear the amounts you want to swap. We encourage reusable, earth-friendly packaging whenever possible.

What happens during the swap?

Our swaps last about 2 hours.

Each swapper displays his or her wares on tables, along with a sheet filled out for each item and a few lines under the item. The first part of the swap is devoted to walking around, examining, talking, and sampling items from the other swappers.

Then, everyone writes on the sheets of paper the items they would like to swap. For example, if Margot has some jam you’d like, you may write on her sheet of paper what you’re willing to swap for it. Multiple people can put in swap offers for the same item.

Finally, everyone goes back to his or her original sheets of paper, looks at the offers, and finds people to swap with. These offers are just a starting point for conversation; there’s no guarantee you will get what you “bid” for and, likewise, you are under no obligation to trade with the people who wrote on your paper. If it sounds intimidating, don’t worry, our swappers are quite friendly and it’s all done in a spirit of fun.

The Honor Code

This is a community event; however, participants must pre-register. It goes without saying that participants are using the highest cleanliness standards in their own kitchens and gardens to prepare their submissions. Nevertheless …

• By participating in this event, you are acknowledging that the food items being traded are not necessarily prepared in any “approved” kitchen or space inspected by any government agency.

• By participating in this event, you are also acknowledging that you will use the highest standards of cleanliness in food preparation.
A few notes:

• This is purely a swap – no selling or exchange of money is allowed.

• If you don’t want to swap, gifting is also encouraged.

• Although the swap is a low-cost event, there are some expenses involved, such as purchasing name tags, making photocopies, etc. Let us know if you’d like to donate funds or supplies!

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