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 email@example.com 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.
what if nothing grows in your yard?
Or you don’t have a yard? You can still participate. Donate what you have. If you’re very tall or dexterous, you can help by harvesting. If you have computer skills, you can help by working on the website. If you know about growing things, you can help by planning or planting a garden. If you’re a great cook, you can help by canning or sauce making. If you have ties to the city, you can help by appropriating unused land for growing. If you’re a journalist, you can help by spreading the word.
Our former method – “Drop n Swap” works like this:
Bring a bag and your contribution (whatever delicious homegrown, homemade food stuffs you’d like to share – doesn’t matter how little or how much) to my house in Glassell Park 90065 on the appointed Saturday morning. I will have boxes and blankets in my living room to lay the food in and upon. Put like things with like things (ie. lemons with lemons, flowers with flowers, eggs with eggs, etc). Then at 11:00 we will circle the collective “pile” twice, filling our bags with what we like until everything is gone. The entire exchange lasts no longer than 30 minutes.