News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Lehmans

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Social Issues




The Countryside Conservancy hosts Akron food swaps
Swapping is a hot new trend in the local foods movement
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
About 45 swappers attended the first event in January.
Courtesy of Vivian Goodman
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
It was fun when we were kids with lunchboxes to try to trade an apple for a cookie. But now adults are swapping food, and the trend is nourishing the local foods movement.
swappers satisfy their creative urges, stock their pantries and build community

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:11)


(Click image for larger view.)

Growers, food producers, chefs, caterers, home cooks and do-it-your-selfers mingle monthly at Akron’s Uncorked Wine Bar to swap pickled red onions for Asian greens, apple tarts for cured pork jowls, or maybe hot Italian peppers for Greek rice pudding. 

You can bring whatever you want to swap as long as you grew, brewed, canned, cooked, raised, braised or baked it yourself.

And no money changes hands.

Mingle, munch, and make a deal
Swappers proudly lay out their samples and browse and taste what others have to offer. They chat, share recipes, and place silent-auction bids.

Diamond Markum, a longtime farmer’s market vendor, runs into old friends and customers while cultivating new ones.

 “Tonight I brought Grecian rice pudding, risoglio. I hope I get the beautiful breads here, the rustic breads.”

Beth Knorr manages the Countryside Conservancy’s farmers markets at Akron’s Highland Square, Howe Meadow and Old Trail School. She helped set up this first swap.

 “Going into it, we estimated maybe 20 on a good day and we have around 40, 45 folks here. So, yeah, I would say it’s a success.”   

She says food swapping ties right in to the conservancy’s mission to build community among growers, producers and shoppers.

“They have to know what to do with these raw agricultural products, and food swaps are just one way to foster enthusiastic cooking with local ingredients.”

Idea born in Brooklyn takes off online 
Sharing food is nothing new, but recurring community events like these to exchange homegrown, homemade or foraged food is a hot new trend. The Conservancy’s Erin Molnar picked up on it in "The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking." The book’s Brooklyn, N.Y.-based author now runs FoodSwapNetwork.com.

 “Her name’s Kate Kane, and she ended up with some extras in her kitchen. She posted it on Facebook and it evolved from there. So I had read about it, and when Countryside started talking about doing it, I was like, 'absolutely.' I think it’s a fantastic idea.”

She brought one of her own creations to swap.

“I made bourbon brown sugar mustard. It’s slightly sweet. It’s got the bourbon and the brown sugar in there, but its super zesty and very mustardy. I think my apartment still smells like mustard.”

Molnar is newly interested in craft cocktails and hopes to swap her mustard for homemade tonic and sweet vermouth.

Much of the food brought to the swap is artisanal, off-beat, even surprising, such as the cured pork jowl. But there’s plenty of down-home traditional fare, too, like jams, jellies, scones and Michael Kauss’s banana bread and sweet potato pie. He bakes at home in Akron and says he doesn’t care what he swaps for. He just hopes people like what he brought.

 “I don’t know if the banana bread’s going so well, but the sweet potato pie seems to be a winner.”

The last half-hour of the 2-hour event is a mad scramble of noisy negotiations.

Akron caterer Ross Dilley brought breakfast nibbles to swap.

“Granola. Four-fruit marmalade with oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and clementine. Savory breakfast muffins with ham and cheese, and I also made some orange-cranberry bread.” 

In exchange, he hopes to snag one of artisanal baker Kathy Lehr’s creations.

Eventually, they make a delicious deal.

Homegrown, homemade, and a homey alternative to the supermarket
It’s not lost on growers at the swap like George Remington that the ingredients in these homegrown creations come from local farms. He brought greens, beets and sweet potatoes from his fields at Morningside Farm in Hinckley, and he’s hankering to trade.

 “There are a lot of breads and jams, and jellies and salsas. I want to fill the pantry.” 

He’s also enjoying a glass of wine and a chance to talk with some of his regular customers.

Remington sees swapping as part of a flourishing local-foods lifestyle.

The corporatization of the planet is growing. What we’re doing here is just the opposite. And it’s humble. And it’ll be here when all the corporatization is gone.”  

The next Countryside Conservancy food swap will be Tuesday night at downtown Akron’s Uncorked Wine Bar and plans are to keep swapping on the third Tuesday of every month.

And that’s this week’s Quick Bite. Next week we’ll sample a Picasso-inspired menu at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Related Links & Resources
Countryside Conservancy's website

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook






Stories with Recent Comments

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Legal marijuana group offers new details about ballot issue
Americans feel as if they should have the right to decide on their own if and when it is or is not a responsible time to have a drink or smoke a joint. The fac...

The PUCO is assessing what happened in Akron's AT&T outage
not the first time for that steam pipe break... happened in the late 70's when the office was being converted to electronic switch ESS.. was a big mess then but...

The freeze of green-energy standards hurts Ohio wind and solar industries
What do we do at night and when the wind isn't blowing? Where does the power come from to back-up these renewable sources?

Gov. Kasich may still face budget battles with Ohio lawmakers
Governor Kasich continues to disappoint many of us who voted for him when he was elected Governor four years ago. It is way past time for charter schools to b...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University