A few weeks ago I posted in a local natural family group on facebook asking if anyone had kefir grains to share or to trade for a kombucha scoby. I ended up finding milk kefir grains and I traded two kombucha starters for a giant bunch of beautiful rhubarb and the tastiest homemade elderberry jelly as a result of that post. I then had a big, bright light bulb moment - what if we met up regularly with all of our homemade real food and starters and produce and such and had a big swap?
I mentioned my idea in the same facebook group and there was a lot of interest. So The Treasure Valley Real Foodies was born. Of course this idea isn't new and real food swaps are actually becoming quite popular! Here is how ours came to be...
The first step was to start a facebook group and invite all the local real food lovers and ask them to invite all their friends. Within a couple days there were 50 members. Next I offered to host the first swap in my home and put up a poll with some tentative dates so everyone could vote for the day that worked best for most. Once the date was settled I created a facebook event and invited everyone in the group. When each member RSVP'd to the event they would post a list of what they would be bringing to swap and what they were in search of. We decided to include a few non-food items in our swaps like organic soap, wool yarn, recipe cards and paper goods and other handmade things.
In typical Inspired Mama fashion I completely forgot about my camera while everyone was here for the swap, dang it! But above is a photo of the lovely items I ended up with - several plants (mint, parsley, lettuce, hen and chicks, wonderberry, and a tiny apricot tree!), a fresh baked whole wheat loaf and some handmade recipe cards. I also got some bundles of dried sage and catnip for tea.
Other items that were swapped ::
*natural elk burger and sausage
*sourdough starters with care instructions and recipes
*an oak tree
*hand dyed wool yarn
*milk kefir grains
* herb filled dream pillows
We each explained and identified what we had to contribute and when it was time to trade it was a lot of "Hey! I would love this! Can I trade you for a pound of burger or a bar of organic soap?" There was no set value for the swap items, we all just worked out our own little deals and everyone left happy with bags full of goodies.
As the season progresses we will have plenty of backyard produce and canned goods to add to our swaps. We have decided to meet once a month for now but may meet every other week when our gardens are in full bloom.
Do you have a similar food swap in your community? If so I would love to hear all about it! And if you are inspired to start your own local swap please let me know that too! And next time I attend a food swap I will make sure to take lots and lots of photos...