Spring Swap - 2011
It's that time! Here's the Spring Swap 2011 thread where all the information about the swap will be posted! I'm going to start with the basic information that's the same for all of the swaps so it can be easily found by anyone with questions, and then post information specific to this swap, like deciding the date, below that!
~~~~~ THE BASIC SWAP FAQ'S! ~~~~~
WHAT TO BRING!
Anything that has anything to do with gardening is welcome at the swap!
Plants, of course, are our primary "commodity," but people also sometimes bring fresh produce, like cut herbs, rhubarb, or other fresh spring veggies to include in the trading. The Spring Swap plants are usually mostly starts and seedlings of annual bedding plants and veggies, with some perennial divisions and seedlings. (The Fall Swap is usually mostly perennial divisions!)
In addition to plants, we also welcome seeds, pots, books/magazines, tools, rocks, garden art.......... Anything garden related that you don't want or need anymore! The non-plant items are not officially "traded!" There will be a place to put these things and they will be available for anyone who sees them on a first come, first served basis! A few years ago someone had some concrete "tree ring" blocks to give away, and they were spoken for and picked up even before the swap. If you have something heavy or large and bulky that you'd like to go to a new and appreciative home, I recommend posting it here and possibly someone who would like to have it could pick it up before the swap so you wouldn't need to bring it all the way to the swap!
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE SWAP!
The Arriving Part!
When you arrive, there will be a table with a sign in sheet and name badges. Everybody needs to sign in and make a name badge for themselves and any significant others or guests.
The Eating Part!
We start out with the pot luck! Your dish can be absolutely anything! Hot dishes, cold dishes, appetizers/finger foods, salads, sweets--anything you think others would enjoy! Homemade dishes, if you have time, are always good and very much appreciated! The oven and microwave will be available if someone needs to reheat something! Please plan to bring a serving spoon if it will be needed for your dish, and also please make some provision for it to be covered--a lid if it's that type of dish, or plastic wrap, or whatever. And a request I've made at the last couple swaps that has worked out pretty well! I love sweets, so I definitely don't want to put too much of a damper on the dessert type things, but at a couple of the early swaps we seemed to wind up with mostly sweets, so if you're trying to decide between that or something else, lean toward the something else!
The Demonstration Part!
After we eat we'll have the demonstration on basic propagation, and I'm planning to include some info about different store bought potting soils and a few other things. If anyone has some basic issue they'd like discussed or answered, please PM me or post it here, and if it's something I can help with I'll add it to my list.
The Swapping Part!
During the arriving/eating/demonstration parts you will have had time to check out the plants people have brought, and now it's time for the swapping! First we make sure anybody who has plants earmarked for others, gets or has already gotten them to the right people. Then we draw numbers for the first TWO rounds of picking what we want. With number in hand, we go around and have everyone briefly describe what they brought so people know for sure what's there and so everyone can decide what they want the most! Then we go around twice in "number order" and each person picks the one thing they want the most in each round. This gives everyone a pretty good chance of getting the two things they really want! After the two "civilized" rounds of picking we open it up to a free-for-all! Everyone just goes around and grabs whatever they want of what's left! (Bring your Body Armor!)
About the Earmarking!
On the day of the swap we don't allow any "early picking," meaning, while you can look and touch all you want, nobody can take any of the plants till we start our first two rounds of picking! BUT we do allow earmarking of plants BEFORE the swap when people post what they plan to bring. I'll get the "What are you bringing? - What do you want?" thread started in the next week or so. Save specific information about what you plan to bring for that thread please, to try to keep this thread a little bit shorter since this thread will get so long all by itself that it will be hard to use by the time of the swap! I'll post a link to the What do you Want thread when I start it!
OUR PRIMARY SWAP RULE!
And then there's that one Swap Law that everybody needs to know about! Nobody needs to have any plants to be welcome at the swap! If you're new to gardening and don't have anything yet, if you just moved to a new house and don't have anything to give away yet, or if you just don't have anything for any reason at all, that's ok! There are always way, way plenty of plants to go around, and we get together as much to swap gardening talk and friendship as to swap plants--so come regardless of how much you do or don't have to bring! (And, yes, you do get to pick plants in the swap part even if you weren't able to bring any!)
HERE'S SOME BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLANTS YOU BRING!
PLANT THEM -- Whether it's divisions or seedlings or whole plants you'll be bringing, please try to get them into their pots AT LEAST a couple weeks before the swap so they have time to "settle in" and start to root out some. If plants are dug up and put into pots, and then taken back out of the pots to be planted in the ground just a couple days later, it's "double trauma" for them! Also, most plants don't do at all well in pots in "garden soil," so if at all possible, use some sort of a store bought potting mix. It doesn't need to be expensive! (But Hyponex brand would probably be worse than garden soil, so if that's the option, stick with the garden soil!)
LABEL THEM -- Please be sure the plants you bring are labeled one way or another! Here are some of the ways people have labeled their plants in the past: a regular plant tag in the pot -- plastic beverage cups cut up into narrow strips -- popsicle sticks -- old blinds cut up into label size strips -- staple or tape a piece of paper with the name onto the pot -- write the name of the plant on the pot with a marker or crayon -- make up adhesive labels with the plant name and basic information and stick them on the pots. I make up little strips of paper on the computer with the name and other info and include one with each plant. Be creative, but find some way to label them! Anything to ensure the person getting the plant will know what they have when they get home. When we're at the swap, we all think we'll be able to remember the things we're getting to take home, and then we wind up grabbing all kinds of things in the free-for-all, and........... Oops! What is this!
WATER THEM -- Please plan to thoroughly water the plants you're bringing the DAY BEFORE the swap so they'll have time to drain well enough to be easy to transport, yet be wet enough to not be wilting at the swap or while people are taking them home!
TAKE THEM HOME! -- It's a really good idea to bring a box/tray or two to carry your booty back home in! If the plants you're bringing are in something, don't let anybody else snag it, and you can use that to refill with the new goodies! We do ask that you please don't use someone else's boxes or trays without asking first if it's ok!
MARK YOUR EARMARKED PLANTS -- If you're earmarking something for someone who's requested it, please be sure to clearly mark on the pot somehow who it's for. I use small "pots" (styrofoam cups!) for my plants, and I've found it works well to write the screen name of the person on a paper bag and put the plants in the bag. If there's more than one bag for someone I just write "1 of 2" on it to be sure nothing gets missed! It makes it easy for everyone to find the ones that are for them, and it's easier to carry the bags than to carry a bunch of separate pots. Small boxes work well too! There will be an area away from the general swap plants to put things that are earmarked for specific people.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT THE SWAP!
ALL swap information is posted here on the Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum! The ONLY email that will be sent directly to the people that are planning to attend the swap, will be one with the address and directions, approximately a week before the swap.That's all of the general information! Now here's the stuff that's specific to this swap! First, for those that haven't been following the over\-winter swap thread, the swap is going to be at my house this year, in Thornton, near 120th Avenue and Colorado Blvd. It's easy access from I25 \-\- just a couple miles east on 120th. As I said above, the address and directions to my house will be emailed to everyone who signs up for the swap about a week before whatever date we decide upon for the swap. I WILL NEED to have your email address in order to send you that email, so if you "sign up" below to attend the swap, please PM your address to me through GardenWeb (go to "my page" and click on "send me an email"), or, if you still have my email address from a past swap, email me directly. Please don't wait till the last minute! We need to start with picking a date! I've been keeping track of the dates that people have said they couldn't come from the over\-winter thread. If possible I am trying to pick a date that will work for the people that are coming from far away! I figure that since it's much easier for those in the Metro Denver area to come to "the next" swap if they can't make it this time, we should give a little more "weight" to the Long Distance Sprinters! Three people have said they couldn't come on one or both days on the weekend of May 14/15. That seems like enough to me to rule out that weekend right off the bat! And one of those people is Bonnie who drives all the way in from Silt on the Western Slope! If anybody doesn't know where that is, it's west of Glenwood Springs, most of the way to Grand Junction! Next is Saturday the 21st. BillieLadybug, who drives up from about 60 miles east of Colorado Springs, and who hasn't been able to come to a swap for a couple years because of school, can't come that day. Billie brings the home grown deviled eggs, and the (pardon my French) BS! I'm partial to both of those things, so, taking into consideration the distance again, I going to rule out that date! Ok! Now a couple people have said that they prefer Saturday over Sunday, and I've just eliminated two of the four Saturdays in May! It doesn't make any difference at all to me which day it is! \[Just so everybody knows, there is a slight chance I would need to go (I'd be driving) to Chicago for a Workers' Comp hearing sometime in May! All I can do about that is to wait to hear from my attorney! I won't know if or when it's gonna happen until I hear from her, and I have no idea when that might be! I'm just keeping all my fingers and toes crossed really hard that it doesn't wind up interfering with our plans!\] TreeBarb has a graduation on Saturday the 28th, so it would be nice if we could work around that date, but that only leaves one Saturday, the 7th! If we eliminate the days people have already said they couldn't come, that leaves these possibilities! Saturday, 05.07.11 Sunday, 05.08.11 (this is Mother's Day if that matters to the folks who hope to come!) Sunday, 05.22.11 Sunday, 05.29.11 So at this point I'D LIKE SOME FEEDBACK as to which of those days would be best for the people that are planning/hoping to come! That's the most important thing for now, but, beyond that, here are a couple other things! After we decide on a date, I'll be posting a list of things we'll need, and people can post what they can bring to help. There's plenty of time for that yet! Spouses, significant others, friends, neighbors, and friendly guests of any ilk are always welcome, and I don't have any problem with people bringing kids, but just so everybody knows what to expect, I have a very small yard with nowhere to run, and no kid\-type things. There is a park 1 1/2 blocks east of me, down a very quiet street, where there would be lots of running room, but no playground equipment as far as I know. Just thought I should mention it since Charlene has the trampoline and lots of kid room when we have the swap there! Thats all I can think of for now! I'm not sure how readable this is going to be since GW "messes with" things that are copied from Word! I'm going to copy it and then go thru and "replace" all the apostrophes, quotes, and other things that might turn into gobbledygook, but the only way to know for sure what's gonna happen is to post it\-\-\-and then it's too late to try to fix it! Because of the copy/paste problem, I do not intend to keep repeating all the Basic Information, which is why I put it right up on top, so if you're looking for general swap answers, reread the FAQS above! Who's coming this time, and give me some opinions on the date, Skybird