How a Food Swap Works

Here's how a Food Swap works...

  • Bring one or more homemade, homegrown, or foraged food items, plus samples to try.  You can bring anything from home-canned vegetables and fruits, pickles, jams, chutneys, jellies, vinegars, sauerkraut, cheeses, breads, cakes, starters, honey, granola, homegrown herbs and vegetables, foraged foods, handmade sausages, backyard eggs, soups, spreads, beer, distilled liquors, you name it!
  • Bring a list of ingredients for all your foods, if possible, and be able to denote any special dietary restrictions – gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free, when asked.
  • Bring a lot of one item, or a few of several items. You decide. The more you bring, the more goodies you'll likely take home.
  • Please package/wrap your food so that it's swap-ready. Make sure that the amount you are swapping is clear. We encourage reusable, recyclable packaging whenever possible.
  • Please be sure to practice good food-safety standards. We don't want anyone getting sick because something was sitting out too long when it should have been refrigerated. Take precautions to adequately protect your food while it is in transport, and while it is at the swap, if needed (i.e. a cooler).
  • If possible, bring samples for others to try.
  • We will provide swapping cards, name tags, writing utensils, and other necessary materials for the event. Swap will be held in a silent-auction format, and you will be free to choose which trades to accept for your products. Bring as much or as little as you like; there are no caps or minimums. Please package/wrap your items to keep them safe and intact while they are being perused by other swappers!

Swaps last about 2 hours and are held in a silent auction style. Each swapper displays his or her goods on a table, in a space approximately 1.5’ wide, alongside a blank card. The first part of the swap is devoted to walking around, examining, talking, and sampling items from the other swappers.

If you are interested in an item, you write your name on the card next to the things you want, along with what you’re offering to swap in exchange (silent-auction style). For example, if Jenny has some pesto you’d like to swap for, you would write on her card that you’re name, and "1 dozen eggs" to indicate that you are willing to swap a dozen eggs for her pesto. Multiple people can put in swap offers for the same item.

Finally, everyone goes back to his or her original cards to review their offers. Then you go and find the people you want to swap with, via their names tags, and let the magic of barter commerce unfold. 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.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the spirit of neighborly camaraderie.  All swapping is done in the spirit of fun, and this is a great way to meet other food-loving locals.