matter how much you adore eggplant or zucchini, there comes a point
where a bumper crop spills over into a glut. Rather than leaving your
unwanted harvest on your neighbors’ doorsteps in the dead of night, why
not search out other similarly burdened folks and arrange an
old-fashioned food swap?
The year-old British group VegExchange offers free listings of excess backyard produce, as well as a directory
of farmstands, CSA-style arrangements and small-scale farms. Both cash
purchases and barters are permitted, and home growers are encouraged to
Even nongardeners can get in on the action. In San Francisco, food blogger Marco Flavio‘s set up a food trade bulletin board.
So far, he’s traded home-made sausages for tuna confit and a bottle of
fancy vinegar; another participant swapped home-grown apples for a share
of the cider pressed from them.
London’s Growing Communities group holds in-person Good Food Swaps. Autumn events feature
home-gown and foraged produce, including pickles and preserves; winter
get-togethers may have treats like mince pies, foraged mushrooms and
homemade breads. Best of all, no money changes hands; it’s all bartered
for other items brought to the table.
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