How to Attend a Swap

New swappers often share the same questions and concerns, and we try to answer them here:

What should I make and will it be healthy, or unique, or tasty enough?
Food swaps are about sharing and celebrating handmade and homegrown foods of all kinds, from simple to gourmet. Make what you know, love, or desire to try. Let the season or your garden influence your choice. Make your famous recipe everyone always asks for. Or try your hand at something new... It's all good, really!

While there is no standard of how healthy, creative, or delicious your food has to be, it does have to be homemade, homegrown or foraged by you.

How much should I bring – a bunch of one thing, or a few each of several?
The short answer: bring whatever amount you hope to return home with. Our swaps are item-for-item, so if you want to try 15 different things from the swap, show up with 15 items to trade. (Food items and craft items can be inter-swapped!) Of course, you can break this down into 5 each of 3 different items, or however you like.

How do I package my goods?
First and foremost, package your goods so they are safe to be handled and so it is clear how much you intend to swap (i.e., one jar of salsa, or one bag of a half-dozen mini muffins). Whenever possible, we strongly encourage the use of recyclable, reusable and Earth friendly packaging. Of course, making it look pretty can be fun too... but is by no means required.

How does the swapping part actually work?
Wondering what to expect at the swap?  the basic format consists of three parts: (1) Set up & fill out provided swap sheets for each of your items; (2) Browse goods, sample offerings and nibble from the potluck table. Then, write your name & item to swap on the swap sheets of items you'd like to trade for. "Bidding" on an item does not commit you to swapping for it, nor does it guarantee a trade. It is just a starting point to connect interested swappers; (3) When announced, start swapping! Look at your swap sheet to see who's interested in an exchange and seek them out... or seek out your top choices first! 

Bring samples!
Provide a list of ingredients.
Always label items with expiration dates.
Know it's OK to decline a swap offer.