Being :: Homegrown Community

April 11, 2012

Being: Conscious, mortal existence; life.

Every month we welcome two families, two people, two voices to share their stories in whatever way they chose. We hope that you find joy in their daily lives, and their simple habit of just being.

Last summer, after researching the modern-day food swap trend that’s spreading from coast to coast, I started a swap in my little beach town. A friend and I spread the word amongst our tribe of mamas, and soon a bunch of us gathered in a room full of handmade and homegrown food, all to be swapped without any cash exchanged. Pretty hip, right?

The food part of the swap is amazing, I assure you. Our swap boasts a range of delectable homemade edibles that has included: fleur de sel toffee, grassfed beef jerky, candied jalapenos, limoncello, orange-blossom syrup, elderberry wine, ginger cultured veggies, fresh-caught fish, raw goat cheese, strawberry-vanilla water kefir, and so much more!

There’s something about going home with a bounty of food that you know has been lovingly prepared by the hands of someone you have met, face-to-face. Or that has been organically-nurtured in a local backyard. This kind of hand-created food is infused with mindfulness and shared at the swap in the spirit of community.

I believe it’s the community part of the food swap that charges it so. When you are there, you feel alive, connected! This essence may be the reason why food swaps are popping up all over the country; we are all starved for connection… with our food… with each other… with our bodies and what we put into them. Food swaps bring it all together, building community around wholesome, homemade and homegrown food.

Food swapping caught on quickly with my clan and our gatherings garnered some local press. Now we have new faces joining us each time we meet! Through these simple, homespun events, our intimate group has strengthened and grown into something new; something better. It is true, homegrown kinship at its best!

*Images courtesy and copyright of Kollene H. Carlson, Blonde Cow Photography.

This month we welcome Liz from A Natural Nester. Liz has been a regular contributor to the Rhythm of the Home magazine, and we are thrilled to welcome her here today. We hope that you will join us every Wednesday for Liz’s thoughts, photos, and ideas. To learn more about Liz, please visit her blog.

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Tonya April 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

Wow, this is so neat – thank you for sharing and what a wonderful idea.

Arianne April 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

What a lovely idea. I’m glad you shared it with us!

Becki April 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

What a wonderful idea!

KC April 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm

This is so cool! I’ve never heard of it before. I would love to organize one! Thanks for sharing!

Kate April 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm

This sounds amazing – can you tell us more about how it actually works?

Kelly @ The Homeschool Co-op April 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

So, so, so wonderful. Yes, details! Does everyone bring a specific amount of food? Or is it just a free-for-all when you get there?

Liz Sniegocki April 13, 2012 at 6:51 am

OK ladies… I have lots of great how-to information for hosting/attending a food swap to share with you in an exciting project that’s in the works! In the meantime, check out the Food Swap Network ( to see if there’s a swap near you and for a DIY hosting kit you can download online. Thanks for all the feedback… and PLEASE let me know if you decide to host a swap!

naturally crafted mama April 16, 2012 at 7:26 am

*love* this, what a fantastic idea!

Nicola April 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

That is absolutely awesome and incredibly inspiring. I admit, for all my frugalness and whole foodiness, food swapping (even though it exists, already established around me) is something I haven’t done nearly enough!

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