Yes, you read that correctly - I went to my first ever canning swap Sunday afternoon. It was organized by Tiffany, the writer behind "Eating Niagara", a great blog for anyone interested in our local food resources.
It was held at a local restaurant (who stayed open at a time they are normally closed, just for the event - thanks, Rise Above Bakery!), and set up so that you got one ticket for every item you brought, and could exchange the tickets for items you wanted. I think that's a good set up, since items that are normally canned in small lots (like jellies) can be a lot more expensive to make, as compared to things like tomato sauce or other items traditionally canned in quarts. For me, I'm quite happy with what I ended up with!
I traded 2 jars each of my bread & butter pickles, chili sauce and hot salsa for tomato and basil pasta sauce, mulberry jelly, cranberry ketchup, red eye hot sauce, Rosewood's Wildflower honey, and four rolls, still warm from the oven. One roll didn't make it past supper, and oooh, was it good!
I was really surprised at the variety of canned goods there, in addition to other items: home made soap, the fresh baked bread (in addition to the rolls, there were 4-5 other loaves), herbs and perennial plants (Egyptian onions and Jerusalem artichokes), knitted washcloths, and I'm sure some things I'm forgetting.
I was also surprised at the variety of people. Attended by around 30 people, there was a range of ages, from the very young to, well, older than me, and a surprising number of men - and some of whom came on their own, and weren't dragged along by their wives. I know it sounds sexist, but so often things like this tend to attract mainly women, so it's a nice change to see the other side actively involved!
I am so glad I went - and thanks again to Tiffany, for having the initiative to organize this event! Now, to start thinking about what to make for next year...