Plant Swap

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» Organizing a Plant Swap
So you want to organize a plant swap? No problem! It's really very simple. The basic steps are:
  • Find a venue - You need to find a park or other area large enough for people to meet and set out their plants. Some parks may require you to reserve a pavilion from the city or parks department.
  • Set a date and time - Saturdays seem to work best in my experience.
  • Let interested parties know about the event - Make sure you get at least 10 people to show up.
While that is the minimum effort required, there are some details that you should address to ensure a successful event:
  • Set groundrules in advance - Some people like to bring kids and pets to swaps in the park. If you don't want little hands or noses playing in your plants, let people know. If you don't want alcohol around (assuming it is legal at the venue), let people know. Is the selling of plants allowed, or free exchange only? Pre-arranged trades?
  • Plan for food/drinks - Whether it is a potluck or BYO event, plan ahead. Potlucks are a great way to really get to know people, but they take a bit of extra effort to plan (don't forget all the little things like plates, utensils, cups, napkins, condiments, etc.)
  • Door prizes - You can usually solicit donations (whether plants of gardening tools / supplies) to be given away in a random draw as "door prizes" if you plan ahead.
  • Advertise - Contact your local newspaper and see if they have a gardening or weekend calendar feature where they can list your event (free!). These usually need to be submitted several weeks in advance, so don't wait until the last minute.
  • Ensure sufficient supply of valuable materials - Try to make sure that there will be plenty of paper towels, water, ziploc bags, markers and sticky labels available. The paper towels, water and ziploc bags are good for protecting cuttings and bare root plants from drying out. The labels and markers are for name tags and or labeling plants.
That's basically it, but you can read some more sage advice on organizing a plant swap in the forums.

Remember to have fun with it.
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