Food Swaps are popping up all over the country and are quickly becoming a popular way to host a party. The thought behind a food swap is homemade, simple, and easy.
What Is a Food Swap?
A food swap is where people get together to exchange their homemade or homegrown goods for the goods of another person. Some popular examples are homemade apple sauce or canned tomatoes. Hosting a mason jar -theme party, where every item for trade must be in a mason jar, is a popular idea, because it keeps all items the same size and makes transporting the items easy. I recommend this theme for a first-time host.
Start With the Invite
The first time you host a food swap, I would recommend keeping the guest list right around ten people. Once your guest list is finalized, create a flyer giving the details behind the food swap. Since this will be a new idea to many if not all of the guests. Simply attach the flyer to an e-mail and send it out. Follow up with each guest after a couple days to make sure they understand the invitation.
Setting the Mood
Most hosts choose to have the food swap outdoors. They often times will use a picnic table with a canopy. This helps prevent the items from getting to much sunlight. Then layout a little gift item for each guest. I like to do small jars of blueberry jam. Most food swaps last less than two hours, so hosts usually offer drinks like homemade lemonade, but don’t offer finger foods or other snacks.
Every item that is available for swapping is given a tag that describes the item, who made it, and it also has lines below it for people to write down their name and what they have to offer in exchange. The first hour of the party guests can look over the items and write down offers for the various items. Items are almost always traded one for one. The guests can also talk and exchange tips on gardening, canning, or other ideas. The second hour is when the exchanges take place and everybody gets their new items to take home.
Homemade, Simple, Easy
After all the swapping has taken place and the guest have left, bring in the punch bowl and cleanup is done. You have now successfully hosted your first of hopefully many food swaps.