Belfast Telegraph

Food swap craze hits Belfast as public line up to exchange homegrown produce

BY CATE McCURRY

They came with rhubarb, celery, spuds, jam and banana bread.

The latest food phenomenon has firmly planted its roots in Belfast after the weekend's 'Food Swap' was hailed a success.

Over a baker's dozen, food lovers descended on east Belfast on Saturday to take part in the city's first ever food swap.

Where food is the only currency, participants were asked to bring anything they grew, raised or produced themselves to exchange it for another's produce.

Mum-of-one Alex Tennant invited the strangers into her home after she created Facebook page, Belfast Food Swap, which has already attracted close to 400 fans.

Alex says the idea stemmed from the Apples for Eggs movement in the UK which prompted her to set up her own Food Swap.

Following on the heels of the latest craze, Alex aims to combat food wastage, save money and bring communities together through a shared interest.

The Belfast mum said she has been growing vegetables since she, her husband Colin and son Finn (8) moved to a house with a garden. She also has an interest in making jams.

Saturday's event showcased an array of foods including rhubarb, celery, apples, pilsner, potatoes, biscuits, fresh eggs, lettuce, celery, lasagne and jam.

"The day went very well with quite a wide range of foods brought to the event. From banana bread to fresh veg, including lots of apples, people were spoilt for choice," she said.

"There was also freshly brewed beer, biscuits, fruit and jam, it was great to see it all. Everybody felt like they left with more than they arrived with.

"A reasonably small crowd went but I was glad as we soon realised that my garden would not have been big enough for many more. We're now looking for a different and bigger venue so we can hold another event at the end of September and we are hoping to get a bigger crowd then.

"We want to keep it as a free event so people can come along and swap items without having to pay for anything, so we are hoping to get a town hall," she said.

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