Saturday, June 27, 2009

Neighbourhood Plant Swap

Get free plants, share stories, and build your gardening community with a Neighbourhood Plant Swap.


If you want this to happen, connect with your local green thumbs and explain the concept to them. They'll invite their friends, and might even help you organize it.


Find a spot: This could be a community center, park, garage, or school parking lot. Use your imagination. Keep it free. You might want to bring a few tables or some sidewalk chalk to help organize the plants.


Pick a day: Pick a Saturday unless you have a good reason not to. On weekdays you'll have a harder time getting people to show up.


Invite people: Word of mouth invitations are the most powerful way to recruit people. Newspaper ads reach many more people than you could hope to personally invite. Emails are easily forwarded to people you might not know. Facebook invitations could provide a useful base for inviting people to your event, and tweeting about it could remind people to show up. Try to get at least ten people. If you do there should be something for everybody.


Plants: Have a strategy for distributing the plants. Depending on how you want to organize it, it could be a free for all, where people bring and take as many plants as they like. You could run it like a christmas party, where everybody picks a number, then gets to pick a plant in that order. Pick a strategy that works for you. You may also want to encourage people to bring seeds to share.


Food: A potluck lunch is a good way to bring people out and encourage them to participate. Food works well as a community builder too, giving both green and purple thumbs a reason to show up. You might have to bring napkins or other things to facilitate the food.


Have some basic supplies like markers and labels on hand for people who forgot to label their plants.


Allow time for chit-chat, and get email addresses of participants, so you can let them know about the next one.


With help from plantswap.net and getrichslowly.org


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