Welcome! So sweet of you to drop by!

Mile High Swappers are avid cooks, gardeners, and socializers who plan regular food swapping events in Denver and Boulder County.  Food swaps are a great way to share amazing homemade food and drinks while having an excellent time with like-minded people in our community.

It’s fun and easy – you bring a few of your homemade or home grown items to swap and you bring home the same number of other people’s homemade goodies. Swaps are a great way to show off your skills and fill your pantry with excellent yumminess.

Swaps are free to attend, but you must register in advance.  Click on the dates below to sign up! Join SwapNews to be the first to know when we start sign-up for the swap, or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date.

Upcoming Swaps

August 19, 2018
  • Boulder County Swap at Isabelle Farm

    August 19, 2018  11:00 am - 1:00 pm

    We are back at our home base for a summer swap! Let's share what we have grown or made from this summer's produce.

    http://boulderswapaugust18.eventbrite.com

     

August 27, 2018
  • Denver September 9 Swap Sign Up Open

    August 27, 2018

     

September 9, 2018
  • Denver Swap at West Washington Park Community Garden

    September 9, 2018  9:00 am - 11:00 am

    As the summer starts to wind down, what have you been doing in the kitchen? Savoring the summer fruit, pickling the last of your carrots, beans or beets, or maybe baking with the bounty of zucchini that never ends. Bring it all to West Wash Park Community garden to swap with your favorite swap buddies.

    http://denverswapseptember2018.eventbrite.com

     

September 10, 2018
  • Boulder County September 23 Swap Sign-Up Open

    September 10, 2018

     

September 23, 2018
September 24, 2018
  • Denver October 7 Swap Sign Up Open

    September 24, 2018

     

October 7, 2018
  • Denver Swap at West Washington Park Community Garden

    October 7, 2018  10:00 am - 12:00 pm

    It's your last chance to swap at West Wash Park Community Garden! Bring your homemade goodies and swap them for equally as delicious and loving homemade goodies. You won't be disappointed. Come join us before fall strikes!

    http://denverswapoctober18.eventbrite.com

     

Host a swap!
We are planning upcoming swaps now and are looking for homes.
Got the perfect swap spot?  Check out our Host page to get the low down and let us know!

 

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FAQ

What is a food swap?
Food swaps are sweeping the nation!  A part of the current DIY zeitgeist, it’s just good, old fashioned common sense to share what you have with others – and get something as carefully crafted in return.  Here are some questions that people have about food swaps – feel free to ask us anything else you may want to know.

Where do I start?
Reserve free tickets to attend a Mile High Swappers event.  Registration opens a couple of weeks before each swap and we will share when sign-up starts via our SwapNews mailing list first, and then on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

What do I bring?
Come to the event with five or more portions of your amazing home created goods that you are prepared to part with – they can be all the same thing or a mix.  The only rule concerning what you bring to swap is that it must be a home made or home grown food or drink. If it’s organic, gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar etc. that’s great – just make sure you label it accordingly so you can easily find like-dieting people to swap with.

Samples of your goodies are definitely welcome – as are extra treats to share with the group.

Our swaps are definitely food-focused, but we are OK with other crafts too.  Our not-so-set-in-stone rule is that you may bring non-food handmade items to swap as long as you also have a food item.

We accept donations for local food pantries at every swap, but there are rules about what they accept, so please see our About Us page for that info, and then bring something to donate!

Children, family, and friends who are interested in checking out what happens at a swap are very welcome as well.

Please also bring an adventurous spirit and expectation of a good time meeting new people.

What happens when I get there?
The food swap lasts about two hours.  When you arrive you will have a chance to set up, check out the products that other attendees have brought to swap, and ask one another questions about recipes, process, techniques, etc..  After everyone has settled in, we will get together to introduce ourselves and our swap items, answer any questions about how the swap works and and announce the beginning of  the bidding.

Now is your chance to let other swappers know you are interested in trading for their goodies by signing up on their bid sheets.

After everyone has had a chance to place their bids, we do a quick countdown and the trading begins! You can see on your bid sheet who wants your amazing soup/jam/cookies/home cured bacon and decide if it’s worth trading for their excellent compote/bread/infused oil/backyard laid eggs.  Writing your name on someone’s bid sheet does not guarantee that you will get that item – it’s just a place to start the wheeling and dealing.

You don’t have to take anything you don’t want and you definitely do not have to spend any money – cash is strictly forbidden.

Here is a great article about food swap etiquette – please take a look!

How many people will be there?
We limit the swaps to 30 people so there is enough variety but won’t get too overwhelming, and typically about 15 people attend.  If you are planning to come with friends or family, make sure to sign everyone up who has items to trade.  And feel free to come on your own to swap or just check out what we are up to – we are friendly and welcoming and really want to meet you, too!

Is this stuff safe? What if I get sick?
It is in noone’s best interest to poison fellow swappers!  Swappers are expected to use safe handling practices when preparing their food.  Canned items should be labeled with the date of canning.  Things that look canned but were not actually canned should be labeled appropriately – ie. a sauce that is presented in canning jars that should really be refrigerated.

Food swaps are considered social gatherings, like a community pot-luck, and not regulated by government food safety standards.  Swappers are solely responsible for what they bring to share and what they bring home – Mile High Swappers is not.

Accidents do happen, so if you are having a problem you believe is linked to something you took home from the swap, you should contact us so we can alert the rest of the group.

Anything else I should know?
Packaging can be as fancy or plain as you like – but please try to make it reusable/recyclable.  We want food swaps to be zero-waste events, so go ahead and use jars from your recycling bin – it doesn’t matter too much if portion sizes aren’t exactly uniform.  You can also find canning jars at thrift stores for super cheap.

Samples and shared dishes should come in something washable that you plan to bring home with you.  Compostable/recyclable plates and utensils are also great.

You may want to write up a card describing your items to bring with you to the swap – that way you’ll have more time to sample and bid and kibitz when you get to the swap, instead of trying to remember everything that went into your recipe, writing down special instructions, etc.

You may also want to bring some extra containers and ice packs to take home goodies that need special care. You never know!  If you want to swap items that need refrigeration, just bring them in a cooler that people can peek into.

Oh, and since this is Colorado, this has to be mentioned – please only bring homemade goods that do not require a prescription.

Also – in Colorado bartering is considered a form of sale, and making alcoholic beverages for the intent of sale is illegal, so swapping liquor can result in a ticket if the Department of Revenue decides to show up at a swap.  Offering homemade liquor as a gift, however, is totally OK.  Consider yourself informed.

Isn’t swapping about something naughty?
Contrary to our somewhat suggestive name, Mile High Swappers has nothing to do with trading spouses on an airplane.  Sorry!

Host a Swap

Swappers don’t need much to get their swap on – just tables and shelter, really.

We are a great bunch of people and we love checking out the wares at local shops and learning about the growing practices at area farms and community gardens. If you are not a business owner but still want to host a swap, we’d love to see the inside of your home – or even just your backyard!

Here’s what we expect from an ideal swap host:

  Adequate tables in a space that has enough room to fit 30 people and their swap items – about two feet per swapper minimum – items can be set up back-to-back if the table can be circumnavigated.

  Protection from the elements. In summer, we just need shelter from the sun – in fall/winter/early spring, we need shelter from everything else.

  Sharing info about the swap via your website, e-newsletter, Facebook page, etc. at least two weeks before the swap – swappers need time to prepare their goodies!

  Taking part in the swap!  Swappers make some pretty excellent stuff – and, while you won’t get cash for your products during the swap, you might win over some seriously discerning, loyal customers.  And really – bartering is an exceptionally good thing, even if it doesn’t pay most bills.

Ready to host?  Email us and we’ll come chat about dates and times and whatever else you need to know.

Our Hosts

Bean Cycle Cafe
Care and Share Food Bank
Council Tree Library
Cure Organic Farm
Denver Urban Homesteading Market
Fabric Bliss
Fort Collins Nursery
Happy Heart Farm CSA
Harlequin’s Gardens
Hops and Berries
Isabelle Farm
Jerry’s Nut House
Little London Market
Main Old Town Library
Mulberry Community Gardens
Old Town Spice Shop
Ollin Farms
On the Vine at Richmond Farms
Pikes Peak Community Cupboard
Savory Spice Shop Boulder
Savory Spice Shop Fort Collins
Sazza
Stonebridge Farm
Tabor Mountain Bakehouse
West Washington Park Community Garden
Wolverine Farm Bookstore

About Us

Mile High Swappers held our first swap in May 2011, and we have been swapping every month across the Front Range ever since!

Click here to read the Daily Camera article about our swaps, and see us mentioned in the New York Times here!

We have made some of our closest friends at swaps – we all share a common passion for food, cooking, ingredients, and processes after all. Here are some of the people who make the swaps happen:

Founder/Boulder Area Swap Maven

Opera singer, event planner, voice teacher, wife and non-evil step-mom, Eve started Mile High Swappers as a way to meet other food-happy people in her adopted state.  She loves spreading the gospel of the modern barter system, and is thrilled to be a part of building a community of kind,
sharing neighbors. Eve is director of development at the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and chapter director of Opera on Tap Colorado.

Regional Swap Mavens

Denver
Stephanie is a home grown cook with a passion for local food and experimenting in the kitchen. When she’s not cooking, she’s thinking about what to have for the next meal. Meeting like-minded people and swapping homemade goodies is a dream!

We are looking for swap mavens in other parts of the state.  Let us know if you are interested in getting more involved!

Giving Back

It is really difficult for us, as proud food crafters, to know that there are people going hungry right in our own backyards.

So we are looking to our own backyards to see what we can do to help!

Food pantries can only accept fresh produce or commercially prepared, sealed, non-perishable items.

We want to encourage swappers to share what they can at our semi-annual Denver/Boulder County combined swaps in July and December at Swapper Mala’s home in Golden.

We will be collecting these items at these swaps:

  • Garden fresh produce
  • Commercially prepared non-perishable items