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Trading surplus produce can be an excellent way to "get rid of" extra fruit or vegetables when you have a bumper crop, as well as a good way for you to get your hands on fresh, locally grown produce of some type that you may not have had time or space to grow yourself.
Any way you look at it, it's a win-win situation. Both parties get something they want, by trading something that they have surplus of, with much less of it going to waste.
Do you grow your own garden? Have you ever been surprised by something you planted by how much it OVER produced? Have you ever considered trading surplus produce?
I have on occasion simply had more green beans, tomatoes, or squash than my family could possible eat, freeze or can. We have many friends that also garden and have similar experiences.
Fortunately, not everybody's garden or orchard overproduces the same thing at the same time. So we keep in touch with our gardening friends, and when harvest time comes, we will do some trading. A bushel of green beans for a bushel of cucumbers, corn for tomatoes, pumpkins for apples. You get the idea...
Develop a network of friends and acquaintances who you can work swaps with. It's so much better than just throwing the surplus on your compost pile, and provides your family with some variety that you night not have.
As an alternative, you might think about checking out The Farmers Garden This website is a place where people can post free classified ads to sell, trade or give away their surplus produce. Individuals and organizations like food banks, etc, can also post wanted classifieds. It requires a free registration to make postings, but you can search the classifieds without a registration.
Another possibility would be to sell your surplus produce at a local farmer's market. Many towns and most large cities have a farmer's market or two where you can rent a stand and sell your produce.
You're probably not going to get rich doing this, but you might cover the cost of your seeds and other gardening supplies. If you don't know where to find a farmer's market in your area, start by asking your local county extension agent. They can usually put you in contact with the people running a market somewhere close.
Trading or swapping surplus produce saves you and your trading partners money by not having to buy what you have traded for. It can also provide you with a source of locally grown fresh produce that you might not be able to grow yourself. Best of all, it can help prevent valuable locally grown surplus food from going to the compost pile.
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