Preparing for the food swap

How a Food Swap Works

Bring one or more homemade, homegrown, or foraged food items, plus samples to try. See our list of swapping possibilities and frequently asked questions.

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. We will have up to 40 participants, so you can bring up to about 35 items to swap.

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

Please 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). Please use new, clean lids for canning, sterilize your jars and lids and don’t use any that are rusty (imagine if someone gets your stuff in a swap and finds a rusty lid – will they enjoy the delicious thing you made or toss it? This has happened from swapped items).

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

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.

You may swap for whatever you wish, but do remember the spirit of the swap when you do so. Someone may be swapping with you, even though the swap is not their greatest desire.

At the end of the swap you may have things you arrived with. If you wish, you can swap these with others for their remaining items as well.

You may print out Bidding Label and bid sheets Bid Sheet Short and Bid Sheet Long.  This helps us save on costs as we are all volunteers and we do not get reimbursed for printing. The bid sheet is something you can edit so that you don’t have to write every item you are trading, instead you can just cut and tape those to your bids – it makes it easier if you have lots to swap.

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