RIPE Communities

A number of fruit & vegetable trading communities are popping up around Southern California. Generally speaking, people get together once a month someplace like in a park as seen below…

This is a great idea that I can see catching on all over. I’m shocked to see avocados sold in SoCal here for $1 each, or $3 for “organic” ones (and to think hispanic markets sell the same avocados @ 5 pounds for $1). Not only will you save money by trading your goods with someone else, you will be using up and not wasting what you have on hand. On my drive to work I see sooo many orange trees covered in oranges and the front yard covered in rotting oranges. Dont people eat them? Dont they trade them or give them away?

/side rant/ Every time I go on a walk we pick fruits from overhanging trees. Ive been yelled at a few times for picking oranges from a tree by the curb. If only those home owners would pick up all of the rotted oranges on the sidewalk to begin with. OK where was I 🙂

Government officials always like to butt into peoples affairs and it makes it interesting to read about the view of how trading at RIPE goes. Bartering, trading, swapping, selling, etc could be construed by government as a “business”, so check out the basis of how RIPE operates…

“We agreed that it was a “gift economy” and not actually a swap per se, and not bartering at all. It was never intended as an actual straight-across swap or trade (I trade you my 12 apples for your 16 oranges), but rather as sharing freely. There was no intent to get into weights, measures, or equivalencies or reciprocity. If you shared your excess apples, you may or may not get something in return from that person whether now or later but if you did it was a bonus. The swap was seen as an event where everyone brings what they have at the moment and that sometimes you will have more, sometimes less, and occasionally nothing when between seasons. I think that Gail has struggled at times to keep the “gift economy” philosophy vibrant, resisting the temptation to trade/barter. Membership in RIPE is dependent on your having something to bring to the swap table sometime during the year. We also hope to encourage gardening novices who have their first head of lettuce ever (so exciting) and one eggplant (just as exciting), but have a limited amount to share as they start out. – Marsha / RIPE Altadena”

Los Angeles has three RIPE communities so far:

RIPE Altadena

Swap dates are typically the fourth or last Sunday of the month, and in summer we have an extra swap close to the middle of the month.

Farnsworth Park
Altadena, CA 91001


RIPE Arcadia – Temple City

Join for dates & location


RIPE West Covina

When: 1st Sunday of each month, time depends on season:
Summer: 5:30pm
Winter: 4:30pm
Location: Cortez Park, West Covina

Continue to monitor those sites and ours at for more RIPE communities! RIPE Carlsbad and RIPE Atwater Village are in the works too.

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