WANTED: Ft Worth Swap Info & Rules
THE TEXAS FORUMS
SEMI-ANNUAL FT WORTH SWAP:
SUGGESTIONS, HELPFUL HINTS, & RULES
Since we want everyone to have a happy, harmonious experience, we're posting info, hints, suggestions, & rules this year:
Swap starts at 9 AM or whenever the first bunch arrives, & we "swap til we drop"...which usually happens about 2 PM!
Bring your surplus plants, cuttings, seeds, garden supplies & tools, art, garden clogs...anything that another gardener could possibly use, & be realistic & respectful about what you expect to "trade" these items for.
(I sometimes bring a cat litter bucket full of rose cuttings, but I don't expect to get a brand new Ace Hardware wheelbarrow in return!)
Be sure your plants are well-hydrated, as travel & wind are hard on them, & we want to give our adopted plants the best start possible in their new homes.
Sturdy, permanent, not-easily-dislodged labels are most helpful, & info sheets are absolutely priceless.
When arranging pre-trades, be sure that you & your trade partner are on the same page;
if you offer a "plant" for a "plant", describe its size, size of the pot it's in, age of the plant, when you took the cutting from the mother plant, etc.
It's perfectly fine to trade cuttings, but be sure that your trade partner knows what he/she is getting, & bear in mind that, while some cuttings will root, not all of them will, so bring a bunch..
When I bring that bucket of rose cuttings, I always have as many as possible of each variety;
they "cost" me literally nothing, & I want to be sure my trade partner ends up with *roses*.
Helpful accessories include hats, sunglasses, drinking water, water for hydrating/watering plants, Sharpies, notebooks, little red wagons or some such, newspaper, extra boxes, cards with your name/email/phone # to hand to kindred spirits.
A good way to keep your "inventory" in order is to box your pre-trades & label each box with the trade partner's name;
I my own self use a whole sheet of letter-sized paper & write the person's name in enormous letters;
on one side of the page, I list what is in the box;
on the other side, I list what that person is bringing me.
Complete one trade before you begin the next one:
It's too easy to hand off your box (especially when you first arrive & everyone swarms over to help you unload! PLEASE help new arrivals, donÂt swarm anyone with your trade list or boxes!) to a trading partner only to find that they get lost in the shuffle while you try to answer questions from someone else...
& someone else gets your plants from the trader, who has gotten carried away with swap fever.
When you set up your space at the table, put your "availables" on top, your "already promised" pre-trades on the bench, & the things that you're taking home beneath.
(It wouldn't hurt to put your own name on some boxes or at least to bring paper & a Sharpie to label what you're taking home.)
We've always kept rules to a minimum, but here are 2 that should be self-explanatory:
1. Do not stick a cutting in a pot & call it a plant.
If someone discovers this at the swap, the person who did it will be asked to leave.
2. Do *not* remove or "take" a plant from *anywhere*;
the owner/trader must hand you the plant or item. This is the only way for everyone to be sure that they are satisfied & happy with the trade.
Remember, if there's a conflict over this, the trader/offerer/*owner* of the plant will prevail, so be sure that person wants you to have the plant.
If you remove a plant or other object from someone elseÂs area, you will have to leave.
Extra plants that we want to share without a trade will go onto an "Orphan's Table", which is to be left untouched until the door prizes are drawn.
When you collect your door prize, go to the Orphan's Table & pick 1 item or 2, depending on the number of plants donated.
When everyone has picked one or two items, we'll start over.
Again: Don't Take, Wait Until It's Offered:
I cannot stress this strongly enough.
Do not take *anything*, even if you see your name on a box or a plant.
It isn't yours until the person who brought the item hands it to you, at which time you hand your trade to him or her.
This is the only way for traders to be sure that they don't lose control of their items before they know that they're happy with the item they're to receive in trade.
If you're trading an azalea for an ivy, & you've brought a 5 gallon azalea & your trading partner has brought a 4" pot of ivy & you don't think that's equitable, you can decline the trade.
If anyone takes something without permission, that person will be asked to leave.
One more "suggestion", but it's a *strong* suggestion:
Post your haves before you post your wants & before you ask a trader for something they've posted.
& the flip side to that is, of course, if someone asks for something & you can't find what they've offered, *ask* before you agree to bring them something.
Gardeners are generous souls, but no one likes to be used;
Please donÂt take advantage of someone's generosity.
If you come to the swap, please participate in it as fully as possible;
Offer *something* to any person who gives you something.
As was mentioned on a thread last spring, you can always bring cookies;
Wal-Mart sells every variety under the sun!
Door Prize Table
When you bring your gift, a volunteer will put a number on it, & you draw a "list number" out of a hat.
This number gives you your place on a list.
At the end of the swap, each person comes forward in numerical order & draws a new number, & you get the gift with that number.