A food swap is a simple event that allows people to trade homemade, home-grown, or foraged foods and on the 8th September there will be the first Great Cotswold Food Swap near Cirencester, Gloucestershire. But what exactly happens at a food swap?
On arrival there will be tables set out which will be filled with swappers produce – jams, pickles, biscuits, vegetables, oils you name it, it could be there. You will be greeted by myself (Lettie Elwin) or Berry Farm’s owners (Claire and Chris Jeffery) and we will help you choose an empty spot to lay out your goods. You will need to fill in a ‘swap sheet’ for each kind of item you bring so we can identify if there are any common allergens in there like nuts, wheat or dairy.
You may want to put out small samples of your items in front of your goods so that people can taste them. Don’t forget to bring a pot or two to put the samples in!
There will be a short welcome speech where we give everyone a quick explanation of what to do and give the opportunity for all the swappers to ask questions.
After that everyone is free to mingle for the next hour, chat to the other swappers and see the goods on display, tasting them where appropriate and thinking about what you think the items are worth in relation to your goods. It’s a great opportunity to discuss cooking and growing tips with like-minded foodies. Each swap sheet works like a silent auction bid sheet and you write your offer on the sheets of the items that you like. For example, you may think that 1 jar of your pickle is worth 4 of someone’s home made brownies. When the hour is up, go back to your sheets and see what other people have offered you. You are not bound to, or required to, swap for items written on your sheet.
At this point everyone begins to swap and either you go to the people who have the goods you liked the most, or you choose to wait for people to come to you. You could also do a combination of both. As the swapping winds down, you can start to load your new goodies into your bags to take home!
The next Great Cotswold Food Swap is on 8th September at 10:30am at Berry Farm in South Cerney near Cirencester. In order to take part you will need to book your place via Eventbrite. It is free to take part but there will be a donation bucket and if you wish then you could donate a small amount to the cost of running the event which includes printing and advertising costs. Any businesses who wish to be involved will be charged a small fee on the day.
Clearly, this is not like a shop so there are no guarantees. Its unlikely that anyone whos there will have a kitchen certified to be nut-free or have Food Standards Agency guarantees of cleanliness. The event is based upon trust and judgement and to top it off, its great fun too.
For more details on the food swap go to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cotswoldfoodswap
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lettie on 07818090620