This is the haul from last Saturday’s neighborhood produce swap. I delivered two dozen freshly baked peanut butter cookies, and later that afternoon my reusable bag was returned to me with these tantalizing goodies inside.
We are so lucky to have this produce swap in our area. It was organized by a young woman named Hynden Walch who noticed there was a lot of fruit going to waste nearby, and so she came up with this great idea. This month we had 43 people donate excess fruit, vegetables, and herbs, and if you don’t have any produce to contribute you can bake or volunteer to bag or deliver.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can find out more at the website, The Hillside Produce Cooperative. And if you don’t live here, you can start a swap in your own neighborhood with Hynden’s tips. She says it’s easy!
I love this concept so much, it reduces waste, saves money, encourages healthy eating, and builds community all at once. And when we’re all eating each other’s local produce, I feel pretty confident it’s not sprayed with pesticides.
This month we got: burning sage (which smells fantastic- I love to dry it out and put it in a vase for a natural deodorizer), various fresh herbs including rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano, mint, basil, bay leaves, tarragon, and sorrel, plus pomegranates, oranges, lemons, avocado, apple, persimmons, key limes, guava, garlic, orange marmalade, a brownie, cookies, and banana bread. Wow. The array created a gorgeous rainbow of color in the fruit bowl.
If you want to find out more about the sharing spirit of the produce swap, check out this longer post I wrote when I first heard about it.
Do you participate in a neighborhood produce swap, or informally trade fruits and veggies with your neighbors? Tell us about it in the Comments section. And I encourage you to check into joining a swap near you or starting your own.