Oh, the gorgeous citrus!
This is NOT our CSA delivery, this is the haul from a neighborhood produce swap called The Hillside Produce Cooperative. It's the brainchild of a super-cool woman who lives near me named Hynden Walch, who says her main goal is to feed people. I've been wanting to participate for awhile. It's a free neighborhood monthly exchange of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, a collective in which everyone gets to enjoy a little bit of what everyone else is growing.
Once a month, Hynden sends out an email, and you sign up if you have something to share. If you don't have anything, you can volunteer to organize and pack the bags or deliver them to members. The only thing I had was rosemary from a bush I planted a few years ago, and she said that was great. I also baked some brownies, which tasted delicious but were really skimpy so next time I'll make up for that with some more impressive baked goods.
In exchange, we got this amazing array of lemons, oranges, tangerines, a tangelo, and two different kinds of grapefruit, plus various herbs like bay leaves, oregano, and marjoram, a small avocado, some burning sage that smells wonderful, and a container of lemon curd, which I'd already refrigerated before I took this photo. This was too much citrus even for us, so I gave some to our neighbor. We even got a recipe for lemon/rosemary/olive oil cake, which I'll print below this post. I can't wait to try it!
I love this idea for sharing produce. It's taking the concept of sharing with friends and your immediate neighbors an extra step. It's healthy because it's local produce, and it's definitely frugal. Check out The Hillside Produce Cooperative website to find out more. If you don't live in Los Angeles, Hynden says it's easy to set up your own swap. She'll tell you how to do it!
Do you do any kind of produce swapping with friends or neighbors? Does anyone belong to an organized swap like this? Let us know in the Comments section.