It seemed pretty silly of me to be organizing a food swapping group, when I hadn't even been to a swap before. But, I assure you, what I lack in experience I make up for in reading. The Philly Swappers graciously offered me an invite to their Spring swap. So Thursday night, we drove up to Jenkintown, PA - an hour and half each way! The venue for their Spring event was held at the beautiful Meadowbrook Farm. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the farm is, so just go check it out for yourself.
At the entrance there was a table with the sign in sheet, everyone just had to check off their name. I was a little disappointed to see they weren't using the Eventbrite scanner app to scan people's tickets, but then again I like gadgets. When I saw that feature, I was sold! I'm still going to do that for our first swap and see how it goes-the novelty will probably wear off. Everyone also wrote their name on tags; some swappers added their Twitter names. I think the swappers brought their own swap sheets (?), but I will provide them.
What surprised me most about the swap was how laid back it was. There was a table of snacks and wine (note: advantage to having swap at night = wine). People were getting set-up and mingling. Then Georgia, one of the four group's organizers, made a few announcements on how the swap would work for the newbies. She reminded everyone to "be nice".
There was a good mix of people; young, older, and GUYS! And not guys who just happened to be there with their girlfriends/wives, but guys by themselves. Amanda, another one of the organizers, explained this event wasn't as large as past ones, possibly because the location was outside the city. Normally they'll have 45-50 swappers and the events will sell out within hours. I can only wish ours will be that successful!
Some of the goodies were: Cherry Brandy, Maple Rum Vinegar, Shiracha Garlic hummas, Bourbon/Uganda Fair Trade Organic Vanilla Extra, Sweet Hot Mustard, Sneaky Smoked Habanaro Hot Sauce, Eggs, Sourdough starter, Apricot Thyme Jam, Tomato Basil Jam, Salty Oatmeal Choc. Chip Cookies, South Philly Jungle Kraut, Banana Chai Bread, Earl Grey and Apple Simple Syrup, and Beeswax hand cream - just to name a few.
I chatted with a few swappers. There were a few common lines I kept hearing from different people. "Don't be intimated," in response to advise for new swappers, and "Simple is a winner." Swap items don't have to be super fancy (although I WAS blown away by the creativity, art and craft). Another swapper, Jennifer, who was a first-timer, said the food swap appeals to her because she's able to try things she never would have never thought of eating. I mean, where else can you get Oolong and Hickory Sea Salt Sweet Potato Chips and Ramps in the same place!
So now I'm pumped! Thank you Philly Swappers!
I even began one of my swap items last week. Here's a sneak peak.
If you're interested in joining us, here's the link to register: http://southjerseyfoodswapmay12.eventbrite.com