Food swap fetches fun, goodies


BACI member’s garden vegetables a hit at first-time event
Tuesday April 10, 2012 — Camille Jensen

Homemade green tomato chutney and green pickled tomatoes from Deb’s garden were among the offerings at a recent community food swap that saw neighbours barter and trade their wares.

Held at the Willingdon Heights Community Centre in Burnaby, Deb, a Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) member, says she had fun attending her first food swap and was proud to share the things she made with others, including letting customers know she grows her tomatoes without pesticides.

In exchange for four jars of chutney and four jars of pickled tomatoes, Deb also left with some delicious edibles; sourdough bread, apple butter and fresh cherry jam, to name a few.

Anne Simons, a BACI residential care worker, accompanied Deb to the food swap and says the event evoked lots of conversation around the food items with people interested in the perseveres stopping to talk and learn more. Deb having her own food on display also demonstrates how people of all abilities can contribute, adds Anne.

While the food swap is a great way to advance inclusion, Anne adds the event provides variety for small gardeners. For example, Deb had already given chutney and pickled tomatoes to friends and family as Christmas gifts. With additional cans available, Deb was able to receive new foods while getting to know other gardeners and community members.

While it was the first time Deb and Anne attended the food swap, it won’t be their last, with Anne saying the two have plans to exchange fresh vegetables from Deb’s garden in the future.

Food Swap Burnaby is said to be the first event of its kind in the Metro Vancouver area. The organizers have a Facebook page, where updates for future food swaps will be posted. The next exchange is planned for Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

For a related story featuring Deb click here.

Please share your comments below or e-mail camille(at)


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