Successful first event

Kathy, Jeriann and I enjoyed hosting the first Olympia Food Swap at GrUB in Olympia last night (9-29-2011) and we had a great turnout! I think everyone seemed pleased with the event and brought home an amazing bounty of delicious food. My bounty included jams: maple blueberry, blueberry lime, grapefruit rhubarb, pina colada, strawberry, raspberry and plum. Desserts: chocolate covered graham crackers and candied orange peels. A loaf of organic country bread. Kale chips, caramels, marigold seeds, salsa, pickles and raw milk kefir. We had about 20 attendees all with yummy things to swap.

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We had a delicious potluck with pizza, kale chips, pound cake with homemade chocolate strawberry jam, a sweet slaw, chips and salsa, chicken, cookies, lemonade and mint water.

At the swap we snacked on potluck items, visited each swapper, and did silent bids to say what we wanted. Good strategies were to over bid so that you could swap all of the items you brought. Next time I will bring more so I can bring home an even larger bounty.

On the bid sheet, everyone wrote down what they were offering for your items. On my bid sheet I had cantaloupe mint jam and Erica wanted to swap her macaroons (my husband loved these) and Heather wanted to swap her fermented pickles. For my garlic scape pesto Jenny wanted to swap her jam, herbs or honey, Kathy wanted to swap her kefir, BBQ plum sauce, sauerkraut, and Carolyn wanted to swap her chocolate covered desserts, Lydia wanted to swap her chocolates and Kirstin wanted to swap her butter, salve or brownies. I chose who I wanted to swap with. Kathy
suggested I type up and have little sheets with all of my offers so that I didn’t need to write them a bunch of times, which was very helpful. We had two identical twins, Kathryn and Sharon from Vancouver who brought up a bounty of at least 80 different jams and baked goods. Thanks to Lydia for washing dishes after the event. Thanks for Grub for hosting our event.

Items folks brought to swap were:

* jams: apricot jalapeño, blackberry, blueberry lime,
raspberry, maple blueberry, apple butter, strawberry chocolate, strawberry
lavender, ginger peach jam, zucchini jam, blueberry jelly

* syrups: elderberry, chai liqueur

* canned fruit: peaches, peach pie filling, applesauce,
brandied cherries

* baked goods: granola, cheesy kale chips, crackers, quinoa
crust, triple ginger cookies, cocoa balls, granola bars, black bean beet
brownies (yum), chocolate, macaroons

* fresh produce: tomatoes, kale, peppers, marigold seeds,
eggs, herbs

* fermented: pickles, beans, sauerkraut, pickled asparagus,
hot sauce, raw milk kefir

*misc: healing hand salve (I bid for this but didn’t get it –
maybe next time), pesto

The hot commodities were:

Liqueurs, applesauce, healing salve, brownies, pesto,
macaroons, caramels, peach honey, shortbread, bread, kale chips

It seemed you could really add your personality to the swap
with you labels and décor for your swapables, a tablecloth for your area, maybe
a personal sign to help people find you (and get the stuff you want to swap),
name tags.

What did you think of the event? Any suggestions for improvements to the next one? We are planning on holding another swap in December and are considering having a food swap/craft swap – what do you think of the idea?

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