‘Cropswap’ website takes barter between home gardeners online
A budding friendship between happy traders. Connie Parsons, co-founder of the Cropswap website, and Scott Shaffer expect they’ll trade gardening tips via the site as well as continue trading for home-grown goods.Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp.
Seattle: What do you do when you’ve got a bumper crop of zucchini or lettuce?
By Bellamy Pailthorp
Sept 4, 2012
In this deal, no cash is exchanged – just the eggs and plants these two urbanites produced at their homes in Kent and Seattle.
Sparky Glass says in the past, he’s sold his eggs to friends and used the income to help pay for the upkeep of his chickens.
But this season, he’s also accepted lemon cucumbers from a lady in Tacoma for his eggs. All this thanks to the Cropswap website.
He says once he found the Cropswap website on the Internet, he got hooked right away.
SG: “‘Caus’ it had everything that I wanted to do built into it already. So hopefully we can just keep it growing and getting more and more people involved. Because there are a lot of urban homesteaders out there, who are probably looking for something similar.”
The idea is that because the CropSwap site is searchable, people have a better shot at finding things they actually want, rather than taking what’s available at old-fashioned swap meets.
It has its limits right now, because there are only a couple hundred members so far. In other cities, similar ideas have fizzled in the past.
The site is designed to generate revenue when users pay an annual membership fee. For people who’d rather give their extra food to the hungry, there’s also a “willing to donate” option.