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Swapping FAQ

What is a food swap?

A food swap is part silent auction/part village marketplace/part fun-loving open house where your homemade, homegrown, and foraged creations become your own personal currency for use in swapping with other participants. Diversify your pantry while meeting your friends and neighbors!

Who can participate?

We welcome everyone, as long as you bring something you made, grew, or foraged yourself! If you’re coming alone, don’t worry – most of us were strangers to begin with and meeting new friends is part of the fun!

Where is it held?

Boston Food Swap is currently looking for a new permanent home. If you have a space suggestion, please contact us at bostonfoodswap@gmail.com.


What do people bring?

All swap items must be homemade, homegrown, or foraged by you. Think baked goods, jam, pickles, spreads, honey, vinegar, granola, pasta, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, homemade sausages, backyard eggs … you name it! Bring as little or as much as you like. You can bring a bunch of one thing or multiples of a few different things. The possibilities are endless! If possible, you should also bring samples for others to try.
Keep in mind that swappers will be examining and picking up your goods, so be sure to package them in a way that protects the food and makes it clear the amounts you want to swap. We encourage reusable, earth-friendly packaging whenever possible.

What happens during the swap?

Our swaps last about 2 hours and are held in a silent auction style.
Each swapper displays his or her wares on tables, along with a sheet filled out for each item and a few lines under the item. The first part of the swap is devoted to walking around, examining, talking, and sampling items from the other swappers.
Then, everyone writes on the sheets of paper the items they would like to swap. For example, if Margot has some jam you’d like, you may write on her sheet of paper what you’re willing to swap for it. Multiple people can put in swap offers for the same item.
Finally, everyone goes back to his or her original sheets of paper, looks at the offers, and finds people to swap with. These offers are just a starting point for conversation; there’s no guarantee you will get what you “bid” for and, likewise, you are under no obligation to trade with the people who wrote on your paper. If it sounds intimidating, don’t worry, our swappers are quite friendly and it’s all done in a spirit of fun.

How much does the Food Swap cost?

NOTHING! The Boston Food Swap is free to all who attend.  We may ask for a small donation from attendees to cover the cost of supplies or to support our non-profit host.  Please contact us at bostonfoodswap@gmail.com if you would like to donate supplies. 

Do I have to swap?

Not necessarily.  If nothing tickles your fancy, you are free to gift your wares to a participant without exchanging for something.