Since 2009, the Community Exchange has been using their own unique model to help backyard, community, and school gardeners sell their produce at farmers’ markets.
Farmers markets began sprouting up around the Valley in the early ‘90s. The increasing popularity of the markets and the local food movement encouraged interest in backyard gardening and small-scale farming. Chip Satterlund, along with local gardening activists, developed a program that would encourage community cooperation and regeneration and at the same time create economic development.
How Community Exchange Works
The Community Exchange (CE) works on a volunteer-operated model. Interested growers, as well as volunteers who want to help at the market booth, simply fill out a free registration form and bring it to the CE booth at participating farmers markets along with their clearly labeled and priced goods, at least one half hour before the market opens. The volunteers will count, check-in and offer suggested prices if needed. The grower can then set up and display their produce. When the market is over, participants return to claim any unsold items. Growers receive payment for what they sell at the CE booth on the second market day of the next month. In addition to produce, the booth welcomes eggs and honey from the growers’ land, hand-made crafts and artisan foods.
Where can you find the Community Exchange booth?
True to its roots the CE participates in the Saturday morning Phoenix Public Market where it first set up. Additionally, just this year the group has expanded to selling at the Mesa Community Farmers Market on Fridays, the Ahwatukee Farmers Market on Sundays and also the Uptown Farmers Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. There are now about 22 growers participating in the CE and Chip anticipates many new participants joining this year.
Contact Name: Chip Satterlund
Facebook: Community Exchange Facebook Page