I’ve decided to start writing about some local events here on my blog as there is always so much going on in the Hertford/Ware/Hoddesdon area where we live. I’m a regular at this monthly gathering now, although I have to admit I’ve only recently started bringing some of my own homemade produce – previously I’ve ridden on the coattails of my industrious hubby, Doug.
He is an avid gardener and runs a small salad plot in the summer at Foxholes Farm. Well, to be honest, calling my stuff ‘produce’ is a bit grand – it’s just been a couple of carrot cakes and some scones but I felt pleased with myself at the time! 😉
Anyhow, if you enjoy growing your own veg or fruit, making jams and jellies, cakes and biscuits, have laying hens at home, bees or even brew your own beer then this is the event for you.
The idea is a simple one – you bring along some of your own produce and you swap it with other people who have something that you want. A rough rule of thumb in terms of swappable quantities is something that would be the equivalent of half a dozen eggs.
When you arrive, you display your goodies on a table, fill out a form explaining what it is (if it isn’t obvious – sometimes it isn’t!) and what you’d be open to swapping it with. Then, after some time spent drinking Mudlark’s excellent coffee, socialising and checking out what’s on offer, you get swapping.
“For me, it’s a combination of both the excitement of not knowing what I may go home with – wild garlic salad picked an hour before or a home-baked cake – and chatting about all things food with like-minded people,” explains Victoria Glover-Ward, who organises the Food Swap and is also an avid chutney-maker and beekeeper.
“There is also the joy of not eating courgettes every day for several weeks because they’ve been swapped for something different and we’re not wasting them,” she adds.
It’s free to attend, very social and family-friendly – my little boy is usually to be found along with everyone else’s, running around playing with the Café’s toys and trying to eat everybody’s cakes – and extremely laid-back. In fact, to be honest, if you like food or beer, it’s the ideal chilled-out way to start your Hertford weekend.
The Hertford Food Swap is held on the first Saturday of the month upstairs in Mudlarks’ Garden Café at 12 Railway Street from 10.30am, with swapping from 11.15. For more information, check out the website and Facebook Group and follow @foodswaphertfor on Twitter for updates.