FW Swap: Making Sure Everyone Enjoys It!

sylviatexas1March 25, 2008

Since we're going to be featured in a Dallas Morning News story this coming Friday (March 28), & since the story will include directions to the site,

we need to think about how we can make the swap fun for newcomers as well as for us:

1. Those who can, please bring lots of extra stuff so we'll have plenty to share with newcomers.

I my own self have a few lil extra things, & I'm going to help my neighbor "clean up" her flower beds in return for some goodies like althea seedlings.

2. So far, the drawing has been very casual

(dare I say "structure-free"?);

those of us who have been moved by the spirit have just brought whatever,

& everybody's gotten a ticket,

& we keep drawing til everything's gone.

A more even-handed or fair way to handle it would be to give each person a ticket when they contribute an item for the drawing.

If you bring something but don't want to draw for a prize yourself, you can give your ticket to someone else.

What other contingencies do we need to consider?

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Yow, Sylvia, I'm afraid we might just get mobbed by people who read the story. How did this happen? I would suggest more food for starters.

I was planning to bring food of some sort, but we all need to understand that the food must be free too or else we will come under the scrutiny of the dreaded health department, and we don't want that. If we are billed by the News as a "free swap", I just hope there aren't a lot of people who show up hoping to get a bunch of freebies. Those of us who frequent this web site understand how the swap works and sometimes we get a plant and sometimes we give one without a swap.

You may want to consider a core of 'organizers' setting up the tempo and tenor of our group by letting newcomers know that if they came without anything, they should not expect to go home with a carload of free garden decorations and plants. Since there may be a large group of newbies it may be helpful to write some 'rules' on a placard (for their beneifit) so they understand how we work. Most of us who have been attending for a few years know each other and trust in full measure don't necessarily need to have an even swap each time. You're right about the idea of establishing more structure to the door prizes.

If there is a really huge turnout it might be helpful if everyone brings a second person to help with their offerings while you stroll around looking. Plan to lock your car. Plan to keep your wallet and money on your person. Sorry if I sound like an old horsefeathers, but I just don't want the day to be ruined by something like a theft.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:13PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Cheryl, I agree with you. Plant swaps, to be enjoyed by me, must be a gathering of gardeners with mutual interests and a willingness to share. I hope this will remain this way despite the publicity.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Hi Cheryl - I think, you have some great suggestions.
I too, hope the swap goes as usual - all of us gardeners enjoying the friendship , fun, food and plants!
I am planning to ask some friends to help me - as I may have my 5 yr. old grandson that day. He is a joy, but walking or lugging heavy plants around - sometimes isn't fun for a 5 yr.old. I have to keep my eyes on him, also. But - I have a lot of faith in our gardeners, they are all good people. So, everything should go well. Thanks - tina_2

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 2:43PM
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Extra bottled water is a good idea, don't know if a whole bunch of extra food would be good or if it would become an "issue".

Maybe a card on the buffet table saying something like, please put your covered dish on this table if you are participating in the cooperative luncheon.

& maybe a hand-out for newbies would be a good idea;
something explaining how to swap & letting people know how our swap works.

I haven't seen the story yet, but I doubt that it'll give the impression that "swap" means show up empty-handed & leave with a trunkful of garden supplies... .

Locking the car is always a good idea, I do it when I leave the car, no matter where I am, even if I'm just getting gasoline.

& I always wear something with pockets & keep my cards, pen, etc with me, & leave any money & valuables locked in the car.

Anybody got any good ideas for wording the placards/hand-outs?

I'll see what I can manage & post it on here asap for critiques/suggestions.

thanks all!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 2:54PM
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Cooperative Luncheon Starts Here!

please give Brenda your covered dish, or,
if you have arranged to trade garden materials for lunch, please see Brenda or Sylvia.

(It looks better in Microsoft Word, but I can't get gardenweb to show it that way).

off to work on the other hand-out...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 3:03PM
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Welcome to the Ft Worth Plant Swap!

Our first Trinity Park Swaps were just a few dedicated gardeners who "met" on the internet, & the Swap has evolved to what it is today.

"Structure"is minimal,
but we have a few basic rules to assure a happy, enjoyable, experience
for everyone:

While some of us bring "extras" to share, the swap is for trading;
if you want a plant or item that someone has brought, please offer something in return.

We donÂt have rules about what you can trade,
"only seeds can be traded for seeds", etc.

If you want to swap your dandelions for a 4Â live oak tree, nobodyÂs going to make you accept anything less than a 4Â live oak treeÂ& if you want to swap your cow for a package of magic beans, nobody can stop you!

That said, rooted plants are the most popular trades;
If you bring unrooted cuttings in soil, please label them & let your trading partners know.

Plants should be well-established, labeled, & healthy.

Seeds should be dry & non-moldy, & labeled as to variety & year harvested.

You can bring any garden item to trade, but if you donÂt have garden "extras" but you do
have another talent, feel free to offer things like handmade soaps, art, etc.

Lunch is a "hybrid cooperative":
You can bring a covered dish, such as potato salad, dessert, casserole, etc,
or you can work out a trade with the people who are providing the entrée.

Last year, I traded a couple of salvias for my lunch!

The prize drawing is a similar event:
When you put a prize on the prize table,
you get a ticket for the drawing.

(If you contribute a prize but you do not wish to participate in the drawing, you can give your ticket to someone else.)

We are always glad to see new faces at our Swap,
& we hope you become part of our garden swap tradition!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 3:38PM
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Hi Sylvia - Great job. I think, that pretty much sums it up. I, would print one out. Just, lay it on the lunch table for all to see. Then we can just let everyone that comes "" read it."' Or print up a couple, for all to view as they arrive.We could pass them around as needed. Just my two cents - tina_2

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 4:04PM
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Good Job Sylvia. I think having handouts available a good idea - enough to pass out to all visitors.

You wanted items for the raffle? So, I made up this.

Gave me an excuse to 'play' - design something just for the fun of it.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 7:17PM
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Ooh, I love that, Dorothy!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 7:57PM
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Hey Dorothy - That is lovely , wish I was as crafty!
Made my day! Thank you - tina_2

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 8:05PM
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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

Oh Dorothy that is so cool. I love it. I can see everyone wishing for that one LOL.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 9:19PM
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weldontx(z 8a TX)

Sylvia, read thru comments quickly, but didn't see Debbie's name tags mentioned-- great way to ID the regulars. For the drawing I will most likely bring a hanging basket (w/flowers of course). For the lunch I will work on bringing my "Killer" cake and seasoned crackers w/ cheese.
Wish my plant list was this easy!!!

Debbie:::: will need a name tag for Phil Garza...a friend and fellow plant lover I talked into coming. HE'S bringing plants!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:21AM
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Sylvia, great job. So I'm guessing you don't want to add,

1. Troublemakers will be composted
2. Freeloaders will get a hand spankin'
3. Food is for eating, not throwing
4. Don't take anything that doesn't belong to you
5. Be nice, play fair; if you don't be nice or play fair all these sweet little gardener ladies will hog tie you and beat you senseless. :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 1:43PM
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I kinda like
"Don't take anything that doesn't belong to you."

Maybe we could make up cards that say,

& each trader could fill in his/her name.

& I do like

"Troublemakers Will Be Composted".

It reminds me of some cute apothocary jars I once saw at Cracker Barrel.

They had labels like, "Memories", "Grandma's Love", or some such, can't remember.

but one of them said, "Ashes of Old Lovers".

Bwaaa Haaaaa Haaaa Haaaa Haaaaa.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 2:58PM
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barefoot_in_texas(Texas Z8)

Wow Sylvia - Guess we better bring a bigger table for the food. Y'all know we always bring plenty of hotdogs, buns, chips, dips, etc. So I don't anticipate a problem with that, but what if we are literally swamped with people. Is there a grocery nearby :) Also love the placard ideas. Oh, one other question - we haven't really discussed where in the park we're going to do this. The last couple of times we had it at the very front due to other events at the park, but prior to that we've had it further back by the gazebo. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 5:16PM
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I don't really think we'll be swamped;
gardening events don't really generate the kind of response that, say, a rock star concert would...

& even if we do get swamped, we'll have the signs up about sharing & bringing a dish & so forth;

Let's have tickets for the meal same as for the drawing:

bring a dish, get a lunch ticket.
bring Brenda a plant, get a lunch ticket.
contribute supplies, etc, get a lunch ticket.

We've always tried to set up near the gazebo (can't set up inside because it always seems to be reserved), since it's far off the street.

I'll check with the parks people tomorrow & find out if there's anything going on that will make it impossible to get back inside the park.

If there is, we'll just set up where we did last autumn.

& I'll prepare some bright yellow signs to point the way!


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 6:45PM
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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

Most likely they'll be getting ready to set up for Mayfest. They close it off with fencing.

What do we need to bring for lunch? Do we need plates, plastic ware, napkins? I'm good for one or two of those.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 9:26PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Good question, Barb ... do we just rely on pot luck -- everyone bring whatever they would like??? Or would you be more comfortable with our posting what we plan to bring???

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:15PM
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mikeandbarb(z8 D/FW)

We use to make a list of what each were bring. Might be a good idea so we know if there's anything missing.
I'll bring plates and napkins.
Items that we might need? Dip, mustard or may-o, cookies, cake, side dishes.
It seems that Barefoot in tx, is footen the biggest bill for food?
I wouldn't feel bad chipping in a couple of bucks to barefoot for bring hot dogs, chips, dip's, bun's and the charcoal, grill and DH the cook. Really this gal should get an instant full grow garden for what she's doing :)
What do you think Sylvia?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:20AM
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We can bring side dishes, etc, to share, just 'cause we want to, just like Weldon brings those seasoned crackers that nobody else can have 'cause I'm gonna hoard 'em all...
I mean, we can bring side dishes, okay?

but Ruben & Brenda have the luncheon thing down to a system, & they do it very well, hot dogs & fixin's, drinks, utensils, etc, & everyone who partakes needs to reimburse them, either by a trade or by contributing toward the expense.

Brenda posted what they're doing for lunch on the "Part Deux" thread;
you can see it there & bring something to complement it if you wish.

(I me my own self, as you may recall, eat but do not cook, so I'm hoping Brenda can choose some of my plants in exchange for lunch!)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:43AM
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barefoot_in_texas(Texas Z8)

Barb - thank for the offer on the plates, etc., but I already have all that stuff. Thanks for all the compliments too. Ruben and I really enjoy doing lunch for everybody and I really take home some great stuff. Since I'm not bringing plants we have room (and a truck) to bring the ice chests, grill, fixins, etc. Everybody else can save their vehicle space to bring/take home plants. Anybody who wants to bring a side or cookies and such is more than welcome.

Sylvia - iffin your makin signs - does that mean you're gonna be there early lol

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 5:10PM
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