My name is Hynden Walch and I had an idea for something called the Hillside Produce Cooperative. It’s a free neighborhood monthly exchange of all the FRUITS, VEGETABLES, HERBS and FLOWERS we grow in our yards. A collective in which we all get to enjoy some of what everyone grows in exchange for contributing what we don’t want or won’t use ourselves.

Then no food is wasted and we all get a variety of fresh local produce to eat for free.

March 2020: We are evolving ways to safely get more people fresh, free, food without contact. One reason I founded the co-op 11 years ago, was to connect a group of generous people willing to share what they grow and make if fresh food were ever to become scarce.

Last week, we did a drive-around produce exchange that felt like a treasure hunt. It was contact-free, abundant, and fun. We followed a google map, that showed where members had left lemons, grapefruit, oranges, fresh herbs, homemade soap, avocados, greens, and other things free for the taking.

We’re using our Facebook group to let others know when and where we’re leaving stuff out to be collected. We asking who has what. We’re willing to deliver to those who can’t go out.

And anyone, anywhere can do this. Please join us.

All you need is a willingness to share the over-flow of fruit, herbs, vegetables, and flowers you grow in your yard, that you are unable to use yourself; or if you don’t grow anything, the food you bake, make, or gather. And an email address.

If you are near NE Los Angeles, email freefood@hillsideproducecooperative.org to be added to our list. If you would like to start your own shared food collective and help lessen your community’s need for the grocery store, I will help you get started. It’s easy. And right now, it’s really helpful.