Give and Take: The Growing Food-Sharing Culture

by Sarah Henry on August 15, 2011 · 14 comments

in canning & preserving,edible east bay magazine,food events,growing greens,urban farming

Giancarlo Muscardini and Patricia Algara at work in the borrowed Berkeley edible garden they tend together. Photos: Nicki Rosario for Edible East Bay

Sharing has made a comeback. People are now bartering, trading, exchanging, swapping, or simply giving away an abundance of homegrown produce or homemade food in a variety of creative ways.

In the Harvest 2011 edition of Edible East Bay, I profile a couple who share their backyard with a pair who have created a demonstration urban farm in the once grass-filled spot, a seasoned clothes swapper who started a homemade/homegrown food exchange in her community, and a woman who hires urban farmers to tend her edible garden, who gives her excess produce to her neighbors.

Read the full story in Edible East Bay magazine.

You might also like:

Heads Up Homesteaders: Crop Swap Begins in Berkeley
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Faith-based Urban Farm Opens in Berkeley
Berkeley’s Natasha Boissier Forages Fruit, Feeds Hungry
The Lemon Lady: Feeding the Hungry, One Bag of Produce at a Time
Food Swaps: Sharing Goodies, Stocking Pantries, One Trade at a Time
Canning for a Cause: Let’s Preserve
Urban Homesteader Challenges City on Sale of Edibles
Urban Farmer Willow Rosenthal Plants Seeds in Berkeley
Grow Your Own Row
Dig It: Growing Greens, Creating Community, Feeding Families
Urban Homestead: An Old Idea is New Again

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Living Large August 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

I love the idea of sharing.


Sarah Henry August 16, 2011 at 8:44 am

So do you trade or exchange yourself, Living Large?


Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi August 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I definitely do some of this, but would love to do more. Maybe in years to come, we’ll develop a food swap like this in the area. I’d love to!
Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi´s last [type] ..2nd Blogoversary Week: Chicken Saga


Sarah Henry August 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I can see you starting up something like this Melanie, for sure, in your corner of the world.


Sheryl August 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Sharing like this really creates so much goodwill and bonding. We need more of it.


Sarah Henry August 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm

It does indeed, Sheryl. Lots of happy planters at those crop swaps, for one.


MyKidsEatSquid August 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm

It’s almost like all of the old ideas are new again. When I was younger we would swap, or give toys, clothes, jars of homemade jam to other families/neighbors.


Sarah Henry August 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Indeed, MKES. I’d love to see a writer in their 60s or so tackle that very subject. Am sure they find the trend aspect of this retro phenom amusing, to say the least.


Casey@Good. Food. Stories. August 18, 2011 at 2:30 am

I already barter food for yoga classes and haircuts – maybe this is my next step, eh?
Casey@Good. Food. Stories.´s last [type] ..Orange You Glad There are Pickled Carrots in the Fridge?


Sarah Henry August 18, 2011 at 8:03 am

I love that you do that Casey. What food do you trade yoga and haircuts for? At my yoga class a student brings fresh produce from her community garden plot in lieu of cash payment. Everyone likes to see what bounty she brings each week.


Jane Boursaw August 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Such a great idea. Love the food swap stories – human connections, good eating, fun times.
Jane Boursaw´s last [type] ..Five New Images from The Hunger Games


Sarah Henry August 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Yes, Jane, all the above — and money-saving too.


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