Aug 21, 2012
Going Local... CropSwap Supports Sustainable Communities through Online Trading
Guest post by Connie Parsons, Marketing Cultivator at CropSwap.me
Household gardening continues to gain in popularity as people’s values shift towards eating, buying, and supporting local. However, every gardener (and garden) is different. Some enjoy a long summer harvest of tomatoes while others find that their broccoli or zucchini have stolen this year’s show. Others may find that their green thumbs don’t produce vegetables at all...but a stunning array of dahlias or daffodils that need to be thinned or perhaps their backyard chickens giving more eggs than they can crack. Kevin Freitas found himself at the end of his first gardening season, one single guy with over five pounds of carrots and not a clue what to do with them all. So, he created CropSwap - www.CropSwap.me.
You create an account and upload a list of the fruits, vegetables, bulbs, eggs... or even preserved goods (jam or home brew anyone?) that you would like to trade and browse other items available in your neighborhood. After you find something you would like, make an offer to the other “CropSwapper”, who can counter, accept or deny. Once an offer is accepted, you use account email communication to arrange the physical trade – pick-up, drop off, or meet up. Think of it like online dating…for produce.
In addition to supporting sustainability by helping individuals trade amongst themselves, CropSwap supports sustainable communities for all by giving members the option to donate their items to nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are provided with a special member status so that they can view items available and arrange to collect them for their programs or food banks.
CropSwap welcomes members of the community to create accounts, list items, make offers, and give feedback. Their initial release focuses on the Puget Sound area, but the site itself has no geographic restrictions. Eventually, the site will be sustained by a low yearly membership fee (always free to list, browse, and complete three swaps). However, as they celebrate their launch, they are really looking for user experiences and feedback – yours! Visit www.CropSwap.me to sign up and learn more…because like life, Your Garden Is Bigger with Friends.