It’s hard to believe, but Indy Food Swappers will be a year old in August.

They grow up so fast, don’t they?!

Just last summer, twelve strangers gathered at The Earth House Collective for our very first food swap. One year later, the swaps regularly fill to capacity, and our food-lovin’ community continues to get bigger and better all the time.

To mark this happy occasion, we’re throwing a party. And not just any old party. A free one. With giveaways. And a canning class. And good food.

Need I say more?

So, mark your calendars now for Saturday, August 18th, 2012. We’ll kick off the festivities with a free canning class, and wrap things up with our birthday swap, complete with giveaways including signed copies of two of our favorite books: The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, by our friend and fairy swap mother Kate Payne; and Food in Jars, by popular food blogger and canning queen Marisa McClellan. We’ll also be giving away a canning kit and other fun items, including a crock pot and meal donated by our friend and swap cheerleader, Cara Dafforn, of U-Relish Farm.

Here’s the schedule for our birthday party:

Saturday, August 18 at The Earth House Collective

(267 N. East St., Indianapolis)

12:30pm-2:00pm- Canning 101

This canning class is free and open to the public, no advance registration required.

In this introductory class, we’ll discuss the basics of boiling water bath canning, and complete a preserves recipe from start to finish. Learn which foods are appropriate for water bath canning, important safety guidelines, and step-by-step instructions for water bath canning at home. The class will be taught by Indy Food Swappers founder and Master Food Preserver Suzanne Krowiak.

2:00pm- 4:00pm- FOOD SWAP!

Tickets to the swap portion of the day are free, but space is limited and advance registration is required. Registration opens here on Tuesday, July 24th.

 Now… a couple things:

NEWBIES:  Are you new to food swapping and curious about how it works? Well, it’s just what it sounds like: participants bring food and swap with others. The only requirement is that the items are homemade or homegrown. If you want more specifics on the swap process, including guidelines on quantity, packaging, and other such stuff, click here for an earlier post with all the details.

NERVOUS NELLIES:  Itching to swap, but afraid your goods won’t stack up? DON’T BE! Food swaps are for everyone. Ours is a friendly and inclusive group. All snooty-patooty folks are locked up and sent to food swap jail. Well, OK. No such jail exists. But you get my drift. We are nice people, and we like other nice people, and we welcome all. If you’re still not convinced, read an earlier post, The Top Five Reasons You Need Not Fear the Indy Food Swap.

If all of that isn’t enough to convince you to get in on the action, then I’m out of tricks. But I do hope you join us. It’s been a year of great food, new friendships, and good fun, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Swap love, y’all!

Suzanne Krowiak

Founder, Indy Food Swappers