Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Swapper Profile: Sarah Whittenberg-Hawe | Long Beach Food Swap

1) Where/how did you first here about Food Swaps and what was your first impression?

I first heard about swaps via an article I read on the internet about a food swap in Seattle. Prior to that I had been swapping batches of soup with friends, but after I started canning I really wanted to do more.

2) What other Food Swaps have you participated in and what was your experience there?

Long Beach was the first one I participated in, but I've also been to swaps in North OC/Borderline, SGV East (Glendora), and Los Angeles. I'm looking forward to the inaugural swap for the Inland Empire Group, and of course the 6/23 swap for Central OC!!

3) What do you do to prepare for a Food Swap? (What is your process? canning, fermenting, baking, harvesting ...) 

Canning has been my main thrust so far, since that is what I have the most of. But I've also shared infused and fermented items. 

4) What about packaging (labeling and re-used materials)?  

I have a business card-sized label for "Whittenberg Farms" I make on my computer, which I cut out and paste on most of the jars. But I also I have some Ball labels that I have used in a pinch for tiny batches. Most of my items are canned, which means I use Ball/Kerr jars. It's nice that they are reuseable. For other items, I have a collection of glass jars and bottles that I have saved over the last couple years. In fact I think the majority of the time washing dishes is spent getting label adhesive off of jars!

5) Where do you prefer to source your ingredients from? 

I love the Long Beach Produce Exchange, but I also frequent the farmer's market in Old Towne Orange, which is where I live. I also struck up a friendship with a farmer at that market and he gets me major deals when I can buy massive amounts of produce, like during the summer and I go into tomato-canning mode. Best of all is when you can get backyard produce from friends and family. I also have a friend who has a farm in Fallbrook (Sisters Heritage Farms). She's in Orange twice a week and drops off at my place. I take most of what she gives me to the Produce Exchange, but I keep a little for myself. I give her some of my canned foods and produce I find at the exchange that she would be able to use.

6) What do you enjoy most about food swapping?

I love sharing what I make with others, and I love seeing what others come up with in their kitchens -- it's much more inspiring than doing research on the internet! It's also a good way for us to stretch our family food budget.