What's a food swap?
Food swaps bring together passionate home cooks, bakers, canners, gardeners and foragers to trade their homemade and homegrown edible goods. Show off your toothsome creations, stock your pantry, and get some inspiration all while meeting other like-minded individuals.
Who can participate?
This is not a forum for commercial sellers and growers. All the participants must be individuals trading goods that they made or grew themselves. Some examples of popular food swap items include jams, pickles, salsa or relishes, baked goods, granola, spice mixes, pasta, vegetables or herbs. It is free to participate but you must pre-register here to join in the swap. Feel free to bring samples for tasting.
How does it work?
Items are swapped one for one, so please keep that mind when making and packaging your goods. Bring as many or as few items as you would like.
First, swappers set up with their wares -- please keep in mind that people will want to examine your goods, so package them accordingly. Swappers should bring a swap card for each different item that they intend to swap. So for example, if you bring five jars of strawberry jam and 3 jars of dilly beans, you would fill out two swap cards: one for the jam and one for beans. The swap card lists what the item is, the ingredients it contains (being mindful of food allergies) and suggested uses, if applicable. Download a copy of the swap card (courtesy of the East Bay CA Food Swaps) here.
After the items are set up, everybody circulates around the room. Interested parties offer bids on the swap cards for each item, but these are just a way to open discussion. The first 45 minutes or so is spent circulating and making offers on swap cards and then the actual swapping begins.
You are not obligated to swap with anyone, even if you bid on his/her item or he/she bids on yours. Actual swapping takes place through discussion and agreement. Remember, no money is changing hands. All swaps are by barter only.
When and where?
Our March swap will be held on Saturday March 17 at 3pm. Our host is the alternative craft boutique Pretty Little Things located on Madison St. in Forest Park. Forest Park is due west of downtown Chicago and is accessible by the El (Blue Line or Green Line) or by Metra. Madison St. is home to a lively shopping and dining district so come early and shop or stay late and grab dinner!
To Learn More:
To stay abreast of all the latest Chicago Food Swap news, you can find us on Facebook or subscribe to our Twitter feed. For questions, contact Emily Paster at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read about food swaps in other cities such as Los Angeles, Austin or Philadelphia to get a better sense of the mission.
Please be aware that all goods are made in home kitchens by private individuals, not professionals. We expect all swappers to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and food safety in the preparation of their items. Nevertheless, by participating in the swap you acknowledge that the items available are not made in licensed kitchens or inspected by any government agency. The Chicago Food Swap does not provide any guarantees or assurances about the safety of the swap items.