Countryside Local Food Swaps

Countryside Local Food Swaps are held on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 7 pm (Be sure to register and confirm the date and location as these occasionally do change), at various locations in the Akron area.  Visit the Countryside U Classes and Events page for details on this month's swap and to register.

A food swap is a gathering of cooks, bakers, brewers, growers, and general DIYers; they bring homemade and homegrown items to share via silent auction-style bartering. Countryside Local Food Swaps provide an opportunity to try out new recipes or share your favorite creations with an appreciative audience - and receive something in return!  It is also a chance to meet with a group of people who share your passion for getting in the ground or the kitchen and making something delicious out of the experience.

Swaps last around 2 hours. The first 30 minutes provide time for participants to arrive and display their swap items, along with samples and a recipe or list of ingredients.  The following hour or so is for browsing, chatting, sampling and bidding.  Bids, or suggested trades, are written on swap sheets provided by Countryside. The last 30 minutes are when the negotiating and swapping takes place.

There are just a few rules: You must register (it's free!) for each month's swap.  All items must be homemade or homegrown by you.  You need to bring a list of your ingredients.  And all items MUST be labeled with your name, contact info (email or phone), item name, shelf life, and storage recommendation.

Please join our Countryside Local Food Swap Facebook group.  It's a fun place to discuss ideas and share the love over your latest swap haul.

To read some blog posts and news coverage of the swaps, click here!

Frequently Asked Questions:


What can I bring?

Anything that you have made, grown, or foraged yourself.  This means anything that you cook, bake, preserve, infuse, brew, etc.  It also means herbs from your garden, eggs from your chicken, or blackberries from your backyard.  Check out our Pinterest boards for some inspiration.

Really?  Anything?


Keep in mind scale and quantity.  Bringing one cake isn't going to get you very far for swapping.  You can certainly make the cake, but divide and package for an equitable trade.  Basing your portion size on an 8 oz jar of jam or a 16 oz jar of pickles is pretty safe.  Remember that the number of items you bring determines how many trades you can make.  Most people bring 6-10, but feel free to bring more or less.

I don't cook. Or grow. But I knit a mean pot holder. Can I still come?

Sure! We emphasize food at these events, but all are welcome. As long as you bring something homemade or homegrown, you are welcome, even if it is not edible. Being an enthusiastic eater, regardless of kitchen prowess, is important too!

Do I need to label my items?

Yes.  All items must contain your name, contact info (phone or email), item name, shelf life, and storage recommendation.  Please also bring a copy of your recipe or a list of ingredients to display with your items. This allows participants who avoid certain ingredients due to allergies or preference to feel comfortable with their trades.

I've seen your Facebook page, and the items seen at past swaps look pretty fancy.  Should I be intimidated?

Please don't be.  Some of the hottest items at past swaps have come from simple recipes passed down from grandmother to grandchild.  So if your style is more homemade vegetable soup than cardamom- and lavender-infused salted caramel French macarons...fear not - we love vegetable soup.  And while cute packaging is hard to resist photographing for our page, at least one Countryside staffer has been known to label her treats with ill-fitting file labels and a Sharpie.

I want to come, what do I do?

Attendance is free, though registration is required.  Please visit the Countryside U Classes and Events page for details on this month's swap and a link to register.

Still have questions?