NEI Food Swap: Get Your Swap On!
May01

NEI Food Swap: Get Your Swap On!

I have to admit I was nervous about the Food Swap…I loved the concept, I really did! And I knew it had the potential to be incredibly fun, but I was nervous about bringing something myself. Food is such a personal thing; it was strange to realize how the thought of my food being rejected by other swappers literally gave me cold sweats. So, with the thinly veiled excuse that I’d had a really ‘hectic’ week, I walked into the swap empty handed and decided to just check it out. Biggest mistake I made all week. First, there were tables of delicious food and drink. (Yes! Home brewed beer!) And samples. Lots and lots of samples. But, alas, I had nothing to trade, so I could try all I wanted. I could not, however, take anything home. It’s really tough to describe how depressing it was to know that after walking in and seeing all of the food and drink available, nothing was coming home with me. So, here’s how it works. When you come in (if you are smart enough to bring food), you get a table and set up your wares. You fill out a short form listing what your food is and any pertinent information you want to share (is it gluten-free, vegan, chock full of peanuts, etc). Below your description are spots for other swappers to bid on your item. After you set up your table and samples, you’re free to walk around and check out everyone else’s goodies. If you see something you like, you put your name on their form and what you’re willing to trade for it. Really want that bottle of organic honey? You can try to coax the swap by offering 2 bottles of beer. After everyone has had a chance to check everything out, the swapping begins. There’s no rule that you have to trade (so if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t have to accept the homemade beef jerky offer someone made for your premium apple butter). It’s very easy going and friendly. As far as I could tell, there were no fist fights or tears as the trades took place. I can’t do justice to the wide variety of food and drink that was available at the swap, but I can tell you that it was amazing and delicious. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and it was just as low pressure as founder Mary Willems-Akers had promised. The next swap is June 22nd, so if you want to see what I bring after spending the next 2 months agonizing over it, join us at Wunderkammer. Don’t forget registration...

Read More
Calling All Foodies in the Fort: NEI Food Swap
Apr12

Calling All Foodies in the Fort: NEI Food Swap

If you consider yourself a bit of a homemade food and/or drink fanatic and want a chance to meet and mingle with other like-minded individuals, then come check out the April NEI Food Swap on Sunday, April 27 from 12:30-2:00 pm at Wunderkammer Company. For those who are new to ‘food swapping’, a food swap is a small barter/community event where people who love food get together to taste and trade (ergo, the ‘swap’) homemade, homegrown and homebrewed food or drink.  There are no limits to what you might find at a swap, anything goes, as long as it’s homemade.  Be prepared to peruse (and sample!) anything from homemade cheese to handcrafted tea blends and everything in between.  No need to bring cash to a swap, the only currency allowed is homemade food and drink.  If you see something you want to swap, then be prepared to negotiate a trade! April will mark the 5th NEI Food Swap.  The swaps are held bi-monthly and are the brainchild of Mary Willems-Akers, who started the swap after a season of homemade canning  left her with an overabundance of food and a hankering to come up with a way to get access to more homemade foods from other families, locally.  After researching the Indy Swap, she went all in and started the NEI Swap with the help of the 509 Community in Huntington, where the first swap was held.  Now Wunderkammer supports the swap thanks to Dan Swartz and his confidence in the swap community. According to Mary, food swaps are beneficial because they’re a “great way to expand on community, build our home pantry, and to look for local and sustainable options for ourselves and our families”…and they are a ton of fun. If you’re as hooked on the concept as I am, feel free to stop by the next swap. If you’re interested in participating, you MUST pre-register at this link: 0414swap.eventbrite.com. Participation is limited to 35 registrants, so be sure to register early to make sure there’s still an opening. Otherwise, you can stop by the swap and just check it out, but know that you won’t be leaving with any delicious goodies! For additional info, check out their facebook (www.facebook.com/neifoodswap) or Twitter (@neifoodswap) or if you have a burning question, you can email the swap directly at neifoodswap@gmail.com. Hope to see you all on the 27th! April NEI Food Swap April 27, 2014 12:30-2:00 pm Wunderkammer Company 3402 Fairfield Ave Fort Wayne IN 46807...

Read More