City Food Swap
Central Ohioans will barter for homegrown foods this weekend
City Food Swap, a new local exchange group, will hold its inaugural event Saturday, Aug. 17.
Expect many zucchini to change hands -- and probably tons of tomatoes.
The event is being organized by Clintonville resident Denise Beno, who learned as a child to preserve jams and jellies from her mother when and who returned to the process when she owned a farm in Morrow County.
The first of what Beno plans to be monthly events will take place from noon to 2 p.m. at City Folk's Farm Shop, where Beno is one of the instructors for the various courses offer-ed in such areas as beekeeping, composting and gardening.
The store is located at 4760 N. High St.
Beno is part of the Food Swap Network, an informal nationwide organization of people who preserve and grow their own food.
A food swap is a recurring event where people share homemade, homegrown or foraged foods with each other, according to the website foodswapnetwork.net.
Swaps allow direct trades between attendees, such as a loaf of bread for a jar of pickles or a half-dozen backyard eggs, the website states, and also can feature potlucks and samples.
"It's a nice way to exchange different types of home-preserved foods and put a wider variety of foods on your shelves than you would normally have if you do it on your own," Beno said.
Beno had been a participant in what was called the CBus Food Swap, but that went dormant, she said.
"I didn't want to stop," she said.
Beno said she hopes 10 to 20 people participate in the resurrection of a local food exchange, which she plans to continue from noon to 2 p.m. the third Saturday of each month at City Folk's Farm Shop.
"It's open to the whole city, to anybody," Beno said. "We just love to swap with other folks."
She anticipates those who attend will bring lots of canned goods, jams, jellies and pickles, as well as homegrown foods such as the ubiquitous zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs, and also baked goods such as cookies, muffins and breads.
"You know how it is with zucchini," Beno said. "The food swap also takes your extras. Zucchini and tomatoes seem to be things that lots of people have."
Although she no longer lives on a farm, Beno said that doesn't mean she wants to get away from what she learned there and at her mother's knee.
"I still preserve," she said. "I still can. The way I feel preserving your own food ... if you want to eat local like I do, I can do it all year. It's January and I want tomatoes, I can go down on my shelf and get tomatoes that were grown locally."
For more information, visit the City Food Swap page on Facebook.