{fsc swappers} Community & Locavorism Collide

Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars and the FSC Swappers, August 2012

As anyone else think that the first twelve days of September have flown by?

Good, I’m not alone.

Its flown by so fast that I didn’t realize until Monday that our food swaps were around the corner, like two doors away close, as our monthly swaps start on Sunday in Troy and then again on Wednesday in Schenectady. Eeeeek! Thank goodness we have a regular schedule of every-3rd Sunday/Wednesday, so swappers are ready even if I’m a hot mess.

Within the local food & farm movement here in New York State, September has become a month to celebrate the locavore lifestyle. By lifestyle, I simply mean trying the best that you can to thank a farmer, visit a farmers market, snag some in-season produce or join a CSA Program. Its not an all-or-nothing proposition, just a compelation of small acts, hopefully semi-regularly, that keep money within the community, locally owned food & farming enterprises alive & well and building community one handshake, farm tour, one food swap or a meal at a time.

Maya & Theresa’s Farm Stand & Bakery, Schenectady Food Swap, July 2012

Food swaps naturally embody locavore behavior with the swapping of garden bounties, backyard chicken eggs and locally-sourced vegetable and fruits made into everything from pickles to chutney to ketchups to butters to jams & jellies. Its this reason that I invited locavore-specific organizations and authors to this month’s food swaps. In both Troy & Schenectady, NOFA-NY, in Troy-only local author Julie Cushine-Rigg of A Guide to Buying Farm Fresh: Eating Well and Safely in Upstate New York and attending the Schenectady swap is the Schenectady Greenmarket, also a new FSC sponsor!

We invited the folks of NOFA-NY specifically this month because again this year, they are hosting a fun, no-stress, month-long challenge: NOFA-NY’s Locavore Challenge (we are media sponsors again this year!)

NOFA-NY is hosting its 3rd Annual NY Locavore Challenge a month-long campaign aimed at engaging consumers across the state in actively supporting the local organic food movement. 

The Locavore challenge starts with the theory “vote with your dollar,” and takes it a few steps further, by appealing concerned citizens to participate in a wide variety of events and challenges that support their local economies, encourage organic and sustainable growing practices and propel the movement. The aim is for 5,000 people state-wide to participate in the challenge this year.  New this year, we are launching a 30 Challenges in 30 Days calendar to help guide consumers in exploring the challenge each day during September.  The calendar will include daily challenges, recipes, tips, events and more.

I love a good challenge, and one centered around local food is for me and that’s why we signed up again this year to be a media sponsor. There is a calendar of daily challenges (visit a farmers market, visit a local food blog) and also a daily, local in-season ‘ingredient’ to prepare/consume. Its no-stress and you can register at anytime.

The representatives will be at our swaps not only to talk the challenge but also to discuss all the important work they do day-in and day-out directly with New York State farms and within the farming policy network (disclosure: I went to the DC Farmer Fly-In (2012 Farm Bill policy work) BECAUSE NOFA-NY nominated me.)

I also invited local author & journalist Julie Cushine-Rigg because her newest book, A Guide to Buying Farm Fresh: Eating Well and Safely in Upstate New York, is as close as you get to a book dedicated to Capital Region-area local food & farm culture. Julie celebrates our community by interviewing so many of our farming & farmer market friends!

“Author Julie Cushine-Rigg takes us through the alphabet soup of terms and abbreviations associated with the food industry, allowing the reader the knowledge and confidence to take advantage of the exciting trend toward buying local. Healthy, more nutritional food options are available right here in our own backyard and this book discloses the information necessary to access those alternatives and support some area farmers that would sincerely appreciate the business. Whether purchasing grass-fed beef, artisan cheeses, fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables or identifying a restaurant that serves farm fresh foods, “A Guide to Buying Farm Fresh” will empower you to make the best decision about what you and your family eats.”

As an added bonus, Julie will be our guest at our Troy Farmers Market ‘community’ table this Saturday where she will be signing & selling books. Books will be $15 both at the farmers market & our Troy Food Swap!

Lastly, Schenectady Greenmarket will be at our Schenectady Food Swap to chat about their grassroots road to becoming the area’s second most popular farmers market, their participation in the EBT program and the many ways they foster a large food community with the many events outside the farmers market’s hours.


Have I enticed you enough to come? Pretty, pretty please. Grab a friend and come as a ‘swap curious’ if its your first time or come swinging with your homemade edibles and garden bounty. Do it, you’ll get addicted. I have 80+ swappers that will tell you so (or you can just go read Leah’s Swap Fever post for a testimonal or Swapper Tammy’s piece on why she comes to our swaps with her entire family!)


Sunday, September 16th, 4-6pm
Oakwood Community Center, 313 Tenth Street, Troy
6 swapper tickets & 15 swap-curious tickets remain


Wednesday, September 19th, 7-9pm
First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, 1221 Wendall Avenue
14 swapper & 22 swap-curious tickets remain


2 Comments Add yours

  1. vkhanson says:

    AWESOME! Love the idea of food swapping. We do it, but yours is such a larger scale. I’m thinking I may have to learn from you all!

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