Once the harvests start coming in, gardeners often find themselves with an excess of one crop and another that did poorly. To make use of the extra crops and compensate for poor harvest, how about trading or sharing them up?
Check out these 5 communities where you can share your harvests.
Local Gardening Clubs
Local gardening clubs are full of enthusiasts in the same boat as you. So the question is, how can you connect with a local gardening club?
The Public Library
Start by checking with your nearest library. Many libraries have great clubs and garden-related activities like hosting a community garden, seed libraries, and harvest swaps!
Even if they don’t host one, they may have a list of community organizations and can help you get in touch with one.
Check with local community centers to see if they have a gardening club. They often do have a group of garden spots you can rent where you can meet other gardeners.
Facebook/Social Media Groups
You can easily find local or semi-local gardeners to trade harvests within private groups. Just search for gardening groups in your area.
You can even go outside gardening groups and connect with homesteading groups who may have other products to trade like dairy goods, baked goods, or even crafts.
If you choose the online route, please understand that most private social media groups have expectations when you ask to exchange.
- Always check the group rules or private message an admin if they have rules. Many have a dedicated thread for people to find deals.
- Never share your or anyone else’s private information.
If you choose to meet up with someone you met online, follow these tips to keep yourself safe.
- Only meet in a well-lit public place, like a busy parking lot or the police station.
- Tell someone where you are going and the other person’s contact info.
- Take someone else if possible.
- Don’t give your phone number or address. Use online messages.
Buy produce, grab business cards from vendors, and network. Make some connections so you can ask them in the future.
As I mentioned, the markets are beautiful places to meet people who do crafts, raise meat or eggs, etc.
These are still popular in the South. Stands pop up in shady spots along the roads and popular parking lots beside food trucks. Stop, buy a small amount of produce, and ask them if they would be interested in a “produce exchange” in the future.
Master Gardeners/University Extensions
Most states have a program where agricultural scientists work with state, county, and city officials so they can help their local communities.
Master Gardeners are this organization’s branch that does community volunteer projects and fundraisers. This is made up of average gardeners and is a great place to find community and barter for harvests.
Gardening is a great way to relax and save money, and exchanging your harvests is a great reason to join a community of like-minded people. Which of these communities will you join?