Online communities can be great fun; finding people with similar interests to share with and to learn from. Another great fun can be a swap. In a swap, each person participating makes a gift for each other participant in the swap. Each person mails their box of gifts to the organizer who then divides the gifts into separate boxes to send out so that everyone gets one gift from every other person in the swap. These swaps are not only fun but very educational and a chance to try out someone else’s products and learn from them. Swaps can have various guidelines or be open. For instance, while learning how to make lotions I participated in a lotion swap. These types of swaps also involve swapping formulas. A recent swap I participated in was through “The Essential Herbal” Community, a magazine and a YahooGroup. The guidelines of this swap were that the gift needed to be from your garden in some way. Following are the participants and gifts of the 2009 Fall Garden Swap:

Beth Byrne of Soap and Garden contributed a beautiful bar of Cool CukeAloe Mint Soap.,

Karen Creel of Garden Chick made tins of healing balm from comfrey, plantain and calendula.,

Susie Miele of made a comfrey salve.

Marita Orr made a delicious wild cherry cough syrup.

LaDonna made lovely beaded earrings. These were packaged with calendula petals.

Katrina Kruczko made mango apple soap.

A Luscious Lemon Sugar Scrub was made by Deborah Stiffler of “Scent-sational”

Diane W. of made Melissa Aloe soap and Propolis Myrrh lip balm.

Betsy May made a Sweet Dreams herbal tincture.

Deb Hammett of Whisper of Essence made cucumber aloe cream soap.

Tina Sams, editor of The Essential Herbal Magazine made an Elderberry Elixir and some herbal teas.,

Marty sent a lavender sugar and a recipe for lavender lemon sugar cookies to use the sugar.

Kay sent evening primrose seeds harvested from her garden.

Julie Dees-Pickhinke made bath tea, soap & chamomile tea,


Cindy Jones (myself) of Colorado Aromatics at Sagescript Institute made cucumber mint toners from hydrosol distilled from cucumber and mint grown on the farm and other herbs.,

Imagine how much fun it is to open the mailbox one day and find all of this there! Now you can see how much fun a swap might be! Swaps do not have to be among online communities either, you could organize your garden group, church group or any group to do a swap. Let me know if you’ve done anything similar and how it worked out.