A Tacoma gardener named Kevin Freitas and friends started a local crop sharing website – CropSwap – in June this year. They’ve focused getting the word out in Tacoma and Seattle and now have about 150 swappers signed up mostly from the two areas but a few in other states and countries.
They just had their first bartering meet-up with Pierce County’s Fair Tradin’ group but look forward to pairing with other like minded groups soon. The biggest thing they tell users is to let people know they’ve posted on the site to make more local bounty available to all so instead of people first going to the farmers’ market or grocery they’ll first make a swapping list.
“The CropSwap story is simple. We garden. We have friends. We have friends with gardens. In recent years, our friends have become more serious about their gardens. Maybe it’s just that we’re all getting older… but we don’t think so.
“Our friends see their gardens as a different way of life. Gardens support their values of going local, supporting their own communities, promoting sustainability and eating really tasty food. It’s branched out to be more than just gardens. We have chickens. We have bees for honey. We make our own jam and we brew our own beer. And, we’re getting to be pretty darn good at it!
“CropSwap is the next step in the continuum of creating healthy and sustainable local communities. It lets each person in the community trade his or her excess yield with a neighbor or a new friend for something else they’d like to have, allowing each of us to take advantage of whatever we do best, or like to do best.
“CropSwap is a member-supported online community. We encourage members to be creative. Your don’t have to just swap “crops”. Trade whatever you would like to trade… just because we haven’t thought of it doesn’t mean someone doesn’t want it. Add it to the database. We’ll all learn as we go.
“As the CropSwap community grows, we’ll keep finding new ways to be connected – live swapping events, member forums. Let us know what you think should come next by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear your ideas on how to enhance the value of our online community. Because, like life, Your Garden Is Bigger with Friends.”
So, if you’re growing vegetables, fruits, herbs or ornamentals, check out their website and help enlarge and grow this crop sharing site.