Swap Homemade Products at 10th STL Food Swap Saturday

Remember learning about bartering in elementary school and what a weird concept that was, even then? Money makes the world go 'round these days, but Marie Rogers is trying to change that with her local food and homemade good swap.

Rogers started STL Food Swap about three years ago, and she has held four swaps annually ever since. This Saturday is the tenth swap, and it will be held at Local Harvest Grocery (12309 Old Big Bend Road; 314-966-6566) in Kirkwood. Rogers encourages anyone interested in swapping his or her own homemade jam, lotion, baked goods or other products to join the fun from 5 to 7 p.m.

"I started learning how to can," Rogers says, "and I thought, 'Well, I'm not going to eat all of this jam. How do I get rid of it without just giving it away?' I was online and I saw this lady had started some food swaps in Brooklyn, and I thought, 'What a brilliant idea!'"

Rogers has posted a list of what she intends to bring to the swap on the event's Facebook page. For the spring swap, she's got lard, tallow balm, bacon jam, pear-scrap vinegar and even homemade mascara. The mascara is particularly intriguing to us, so Rogers explains that the recipe includes coconut oil, activated charcoal, aloe vera gel and some beeswax. Sounds better than putting chemicals on your eyelashes!

Right now, swappers mostly bring food items, but Rogers would like it to expand to anything homemade.

"As long as you make it with your own two hands, you can bring it," Rogers says.

So far, Rogers expects to have about a dozen people show up to the swap, but she's eager to welcome more. She prefers to have potential swappers contact her through the Facebook page to let her know they're coming, but, she says, that's not necessary. People who want to swap should just come on down.

Rogers hopes that eventually interest will grow, and the swaps will take place as regularly as every other week.

So get canning, pickling, baking, cooking and, um, soap-making, and head out to exchange your goodies for delicious, local products.

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