Watch for People Taking Advantage of Generous Gardeners

sylviatexas1April 14, 2009

Since someone took advantage of several of us at the FW Swap the other day, I wanted to remind everyone to think before you offer, especially since there are so many swaps going on this time of year.

A "newbie" posted on the Swap thread asking for free stuff, & I responded that she needed to bring *something*, at least a token, in exchange.

She didn't post again but emailed me...& I learned later that she emailed another trader...saying what a good idea it was to bring cookies.

I've since learned that she also posted on craigslist asking for plants & offering irises & bulbs.

so she knew that she should bring something, & she had offered to bring several different things.

She came to the swap with *nothing* but a big container for carrying home plants, & I gave her several, not realizing until later that she was the one who had posted acknowledging that she should bring something to offer.

It isn't the giving away of the plants that rubs me the wrong way, I think we're all very generous in that respect...

but I don't like to be used, & I don't think anyone else does, either.

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Sowth Efrikan

I hope this hasn't spoilt the memory of your swop - what goes around comes around, have comfort in that.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 9:53AM
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I'm the "newbie" that is being talked about in the above email and my sincere apologies to anyone that felt they had been taken advantage of. That was certainly not my intention at all - I came to learn more about plants, meet new people and try to get involved in a group that has things in common with me. I did come empty-handed to the swap - as I don't have anything in my yard except shrubs. But I told everyone that I met with that fact, and everyone that gave did so after I informed them I had nothing to swap with them, that I was starting from scratch. I had planned on bringing homemade cookies, as Sylvia suggested, but we spent the night before the event in the ER with my daughter's friend's Mother and didn't get home until the wee hours of the morning and brought the friend with us since her Mother was still in the hospital. I did a post on Craigslist, as Sylvia mentioned, because my neighbor gave me some irises and daffodils, and I planted some of them and used some of them to trade for other things to try in my flower beds. So I really didn't misrepresent myself, didn't try to take advantage of anyone, and didn't come to the event just to mooch off of others. I had a great time talking to folks about their yards and gardens, learned a lot about different types of plants, etc. and enjoyed the beautiful day. I left with many new plants from generous people whom I thought were being generous to a "newbie" that wanted to get started. If I offended anyone by my presence there or by my willingness to take what was offered after I explained that I had nothing to swap, then my sincere apologies to you all. I can assure you it will never happen again; I obviously am not welcome any more.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 12:20PM
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sowth-naah, we all had a great time!

I just posted the message as a "pro-active" reminder to those who have swaps in the near future.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 2:32PM
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Sure didn't come across as a "pro-active" reminder since you referred to me as "taking advantage of several of us" and that you didn't "like being used." Maybe you should get all the facts before you start throwing out accusations at people and making them feel like theives. I too had a great time, but this hurtful email of yours has certainly ruined that for me. I won't be participating in any other "swaps" through this group - too nasty for my taste.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 2:46PM
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As gardeners we are a generous lot. The past couple of swaps several of us had little or nothing to trade as we were all "Iked". We brought what we had though, be it seedlings, seeds, cuttings or plants we had purchased for our yards and divided. We brought food. We've all brought extra plants to past swaps and will bring extra in the future. I don't cook so I stop at the bakery or the grocery store and pick up something. Drinks are always welcome. And I always bring a door prize. One of our traders makes birdhouses, homemade candles, etc. and trades those for plants. I love her hand creams!!

I don't mind sharing and have in the past. I will when I have plants again. I would be very upset if someone showed up at our trade with nothing but had posted on another site and TRADED plants. HELLO! You can TAKE my plants but TRADE with strangers on Craigslist? Sometimes we aren't aware of what is going on. All of us can tell stories of the guy who took home everything he brought along with half of everyone elses plants because he only "traded" his stuff and you "GAVE" him yours. Or the "newbie" that showed up year after year, taking plants off tables, eating, drinking sodas-and then selling our plants on Craigslist. Or the person that showed up just to give away plants and wanted nothing in return.
You can't have it both ways. You can't TRADE on Craigslist then show up and TAKE plants at a SWAP.

Sylvia is not a nasty person and she didn't mention any names. I thought her post was very tactful. Not like me!!
Tally Ho!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 6:03PM
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Sorry but it seems to me you've all forgotten the real purpose of a swap. It use to be about sharing. Now it sounds more like "WHAT CAN I GET!" I'm not always tactful either

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 7:09AM
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phyllisb2008(8 DFW)

All Sylvia did was tell it like it was. There's a Walmart on every corner and I know they have cookies.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:01AM
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Ok guys, I think we are all getting a little upset and getting feelings mutually hurt. Can anyone say they didn't have a good time at the swap? Everyone's got a different standard they're going to employ for what they want out of the swap. Some people might be more stringent than others. But the traditional spirit of gardening, and what I originally started attending swaps for, was to share knowledge, plants and our love for gardening. If we can't do that, then what's the point? I think Sylvia has made her point, and I thank her for looking out for the rest of us. But I also don't think Howdyduty was out of line showing up at the swap to talk with people and learn. It's not like she walked up and asked for plants; she was upfront about wanting to learn. I brought some plants specifically to give away to people who had nothing. After all, didn't a lot of us start out with nothing? I had boxwoods, jasmine and purslane (OH THE PURSLANE) when I started! If not for the generosity and kindness of other gardeners I might still be there.

Ok, I done said my piece.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 12:32AM
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I enjoyed the time at the swap meet with everyone. Thank you Sylvia for watching out for the group as we all know some people will take advantage if you let them.
One thing that I have enjoyed at the 2 swap meets I have attended is the giving involved. I like Mommyfox bring extras to give away and I hope people show up so I can give them something to maybe get them started or hope they will be back at the next one with thier own things to swap.
Howdyduty, I hope you enjoy the items I gave to you and I hope the girls enjoy the cantalope plants I offered to you. I am also glad you came so you could gain the experience. Just remember to give forward as your garden grows.
There was another lady that showed up just to check things out but had nothig to swap. I warned her that she would leave with plants anyway. She did not come for the plants but to meet the group and gain knowledge, but she left with a flat of plants from several people and lots of ideas for her shady back yard.
I want to thank everyone who attended as I had a blast, I just wish I could have spent more time with other everyone talking.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 6:20PM
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I think, there I go thinking again, the issue was the fact that Hd posted on Craigslist to TRADE plants then went to a SWAP with nothing. Why not post on Craigslist for free plants? And there are stores everywhere that sell food, already prepared ready to eat, food. Heck, I'd trade chocolate for plants any day of the week. Lent is over and no chocolate is safe! Don't even ask why a confirmed athiest gave up chocolate for lent. I'm an addict. If I had kids I'd trade them for Godiva or Bissingers or Sees or Fannie Mae or Cherry Mash.

Mercer trade is in a couple of weeks. We have a pot-luck lunch with David manning the grill-he cooks a mean burger in addition to being a fantastic motorcycle mechanic, the gardens will be open, there is a park for the kids, Jennifer will bring the new baby for us to spoil along with our favorite kid-Payton, a plant orphan pile and ME! What else could you want? See ya'll there.

Tally HO!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Like Mike, I just enjoyed the swap and don't even know if I gave something away without a return swap. HD, if you got something from me, it's OK, and you are welcome to any and all future swaps.

I too always bring extras to give away to people who are just starting out or who have not much to trade. In 2006 I came to the autumn swap after returning from deployment overseas and told everyone I had nothing since I had been gone for a year. And no one chided me for coming empty handed that time, and I also went home with many nice plants, including some from you, Sylvia.

It was a good swap, and I had fun, so I hope everyone else did too. To be honest, I don't worry about being taken advantage of at a free swap. I can always grow many more plants. Cheryl

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:24AM
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Hmmm. The last swap I attended in Ft. Worth, a couple years ago, someone who is well known on this forum was said to have taken things off a few tables without asking. Since I didn't see it, I don't know if it really happened, but several people there were mentioning the incident. Also, I ended up receiving a stick stuck in dirt rather than the pussy willow tree I was promised prior to the swap when I gave the trader a nice palm tree I'd grown. Unfortunately, there are always people who will take advantage of others. Heck-I had someone pull up to my bluebonnet meadow two days ago, with a shovel in hand, and he helped himself to my bluebonnets while his mom waited in the car. I also believe what goes around comes around. It's always hurtful to be taken advantage of, no matter what the excuse is though and people should realize that for themselves.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 3:40PM
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And so, the next swap will be when? I know it was mentioned Mercer. What date, I am trying to get to one, and so far I have not been able to for one reason or other but maybe just maybe this time I will get lucky, I almost went to the one next to Autin (Buda),but a family emergency came up Fri night around 9:30 p.m.! I even had 3 boxes of plant cuttings and they died! for I did not get to come home till Mon eve, and so now I just might make it this time. Thank You all for allowing me to dump all this on you all. Thank You Thank You Marcie

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:40PM
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marcie, here's a link to the thread about the Mercer swap.

Hope you get to go!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mercer Swap

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 2:27PM
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debbiedo7(zone 8 Texas)

Oh my I just saw this post.

Howdy Duty I'm not sure if I spoke to you or not but maybe my neighbor Donna did. I am always pumped up for the swaps.

The first swap I went to I went empty handed & Slylvia & others were very generous to me & Donna.
I brought a lot of stuff with us this swap & LOL most everyone already had some of the same stuff (due to them sharing with me & others haha) Donna & I were just trying to give it away to anyone who we could con into taking it.

You will actually find Sylvia to be a very generous & sweet person. I think that when she saw the ad on Craigs List that she felt hurt & taken advantage of. She has been around for a long time & has had people who she thought were friends overly take advantage of her and a couple who went and sold her plants after she had given them to them) I'm sure that you can see how hurtful that could be.

Please come in the fall, if you don't have plants bring goodies, crafts, books etc to exchange. Shoot there's been many times that I have brought brownies & cookies along with my plants for people that gave me my stuff in the past.

There is a wealth of knowledge in the other people at the swap & I am always eager to learn.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 7:21PM
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MERCER IS NEXT WEEKEND!!! MERCER IS NEXT WEEKEND!!! (Jumping up and down, jumping up and down)
We always have a blast at the swaps. I've missed a few and it is always upsetting, I missed the Fort Bend fall trade. And Yadda! He and his wife are wonderful. And they make great chili. They'll be at Mercer too. I take vacation time since I'm back to working weekends, I take off Friday to load the truck, Saturday for the trade and Sunday to plant. I'm getting tadpoles! Even though we had a few toads honeymooning in the pond over the weekend we still need more.

It's spring, it's spring!

Tally HO!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 3:04PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Swaps can be so confusing for the newcomer. The generosity, trading and manners can be so confusing even for me. The three can be conflicting in their message. Often it looks like a free for all to the first time newcomer. All one sees is the generosity and chaotic trading, and there is a tendency to not realize that the people are different in their expectations. Some more rigid than others concerned about parity, some just want to get rid of their plants, and some JUST want to be asked. I learned the hard way, by hurting someone's feelings inadvertently and learned of this persons displeasure after the swap in much the same way as you have. I ended up not taking it personally and I returned. I hope you come to another swap. I go to the Buda/Austin swap and It is run in a chaotic fashion. most leave happy and usually there is someone who doesn't quite understand the expectations, but most of us leave having a wonderful day. BUT it does not go un noticed by all. Me, I am usually oblivious in just the same way I was oblivious to the underlying etiquette the first time. Often I can not see the woods for the trees, or however that saying goes.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 6:12PM
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whoopdedeaux(8b - TX)

I will be coming to the Buda swap as a first timer this fall, and I'm truly looking forward to it. I will be hoping to get a lot of pointers, tips and instructions first, though, since I won't know what I'm doing and I don't want to look like a complete 'idjit'. Is there food? I can cook up a storm! Are gardening books traded? I've got a ton of them I don't need anymore! Do you do pre-trades? I have some one and two year old roses I want to make sure go to good homes. See - I know NOTHING, and I want to be a good participant. Any and all advice, warnings and thumps-upside-the-head will be greatly appreciated. Anne

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 4:50PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Yes there will be a thread started as the swap gets closer where the Buda swap people will do pre swapping. Personal list will be posted and people will be trading through email before the swap. Books are welcomed and there are door prizes too. YES, food is brought. Keep an eye out on this forum.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 5:37PM
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