How great would it be if there were want ads in your local newspaper or on Craigslist for organic fruits and vegetables, grown in your town, by your neighbors? A new website - Veggie Trader has sprung up that offers exactly such a service?a purchasing and bartering clearinghouse for locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Veggie Trader describes itself as the "place to trade, buy or sell local homegrown produce." The idea is simple: you register on the website and then offer to purchase, sell, or trade any manner of surplus fruits or vegetables. If you have too many tomatoes and want to see if anyone nearby has a surplus of peaches or peppers, you can log on, run a search, and find out who in the neighborhood may be willing to exchange with you.
It's a great way to offload additional produce and exchange it for something that you might be unable to grow in your own yard, but that another gardener may specialize in growing. It's totally free to join, and costs nothing to post an offering, or place a wanted listing.
The website only started four months ago, and is definitely still in its infancy. Despite that, they have over 6,000 people signed up so far. The folks who have registered thus far are concentrated on the U.S. West Coast in California and Oregon, but since the website is still starting out, it could very well extend to your neighborhood. You can help make the website grow by registering and offering to buy, sell, or trade for whatever produce you have or may want.
Veggie Trader has ambitions to expand to include dairy, eggs, and meat, all items that are heavily regulated. The future may hold great things for Veggie Trader, only time will tell if the site can attract enough members to gain enough momentum to make a difference in the local food movement, but we're certainly rooting for them.
Click on any of the following links for recipes that are great with local produce: Tomato Bread Salad, Grilled Peaches, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Salad, Grilled Apriums with Mascarpone, Roasted Eggplant with Mint, Cucumber Dip with Fresh Dill, Grilled Cheese with Spring Onions & Escarole
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