When the plants in the garden reach their full potential, we get to enjoy a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, the plants produce more than we can eat before the food starts to spoil. What are some things you can do with the extras? Well, just like Zora did in the book Zora’s Zucchini there are lots of options, and food swaps are a great way for people to share their extras and also bring home some veggies they did not grow in their own garden spaces. Zora made signs to advertise her event. With help from an adult, you could also post events on neighborhood email lists or social media. Try contacting your local museum, farmers market, or library to see if they might be interested in hosting your food swap.

1. Spread the word! Zora made signs to advertise her event. Create signs to post in your community bulletin boards or even digital signs to post on social media or send via email with the help of an adult! 

2. Pick a location: Where do you want to host your food swap? Your house? A local park? All of these are great choices!

3. Choose a time: How much time do you want your swap to last? Two hours is a good rule of thumb but it’s always good to give guests a heads up to let them know how much time they have to set up their supplies and do some swapping!

4. Make a few rules: It’s good practice to create a few guidelines or rules for guests. You can encourage guests to only bring along homegrown and homemade food. Encourage guests to RSVP via email, Facebook, so you know how many people are coming.

5. Organize your supplies: Make swap item sheets before the event. Include: What (is the item to be swapped), Who (you are), Notes (anything you want to say about your item), and Offers listed by Name/Item (to be filled in by people who want to trade with you and what they’ll offer in exchange).

6. Start cooking: Make (or gather) stuff that’s edible and swappable. Example: Do you have lots of extra zucchini from your garden? Swap it! Do you have lots of extra tomatoes? Consider making a salsa or sauce for guests to enjoy!

Check out these other great ideas to use those harvests: