Did a community garden swap

today I set up a table on the corner and gave away all my extra seeds and starts and the trays I don’t use. people came and brought giant tomatoes and pots for me and some worm cast and flowers. other people came and took things to start their gardens. lots of near neighbors that I didn’t know yet, and new people to the neighborhood. a few kids asking for “one tomato?”

it was great. a few people tried to pay and were totally confused by the idea of just taking whatever they needed. nobody took more than what seemed reasonable and I had to push some folks to take more. throughout the day there would be a ton of stuff, people would take things and it would get sparse and then someone would bring stuff and then it would be full again then empty out, by the end though around 6 there was only some squashes left.

all in all I had a great day. I did it last year but there was twice as many people stopping by this year. I’ll do it again next year too

start of the day:

end of the day:

I had beans and corn seeds, pepper and tomatoes and squash and cucumbers to give out. people brought marigolds, lamb ear, sunflowers, a ton ton of seeds, started peas and spinach, greens, strawberries, lilies, cuttings, all kinds of stuff.

my starts, I had so many I was putting them in tin cans. so someone ran home and came back with a hundred small nursery pots for me “for next year”. everyone was really cool.

I know most of my close neighbors but a few older folks I hadn’t met from down the street and a lot of new younger people who just moved in, came by. plus people from my local garden group. and some coworkers and their friends. a community garden organizer and a pottery pot maker too.

anyone else done this kind of thing? I always plant way too much starts for my garden and by this time of year I know I can’t use em all.


That’s awesome! What a great way to get to know your neighbors! :slight_smile:


Great job! I think one of the best ways to build real community is to find ways to meet each others needs.


it was really great. my grumpiest neighbor even came over, and I gave him a pumpkin start.


My neighborhood has a year-round “little free plant library” which is very similar. This time of year it’s mostly seeds, pots, some tomato cages, but it starts getting crowded with garden starts by early May. I take all my extra garden starts there and they always are gone within a few days, but I do like the idea of doing it in-person so you get to know your neighbors, rather than the anonymous taking and leaving of the one we have.


oh it’s way too cold to leave plants out like that here- I don’t think they’d survive a day or night until mid May. maybe June

it’s a great idea though

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Yeah I mean even here it’s usually not active for garden starts until sometime in May, but sometimes people leave dormant perennials in pots too, or even fruit trees, so you can spot those earlier in spring occasionally.

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that’s awesome

Truly inspiring!! We should do that or something like it in my community. One thing we do is share fruit left at the post office which is nice. Get your mail and a tomato.


We leave extra veggies in the church lobby.


This is so cool. Thank you for the idea!

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I made it really clear everyone was welcome in all the posts I made locally about it. my grumpy politically wild neighbor came and got some Seminole pumpkins! last time I saw or talked to him was during the power outage a few years ago. the kind of guy who would find starts in a church lobby, but wouldn’t like to come to my house! also the theater kid crew came, people who would never go near a church at all but would be friends of mine probably if they weren’t half my age. they took some of the same pumpkin starts that he did.

everyone is welcome to try to grow pumpkins. planting stuff is universal to all people I think.

there’s a big starts swap on the 13th here, I’m torn between that and the farmer’s market. I would like to start canning early this year and the market is a better bet for that maybe. but I could use a few more melon varieties- or some hot weather greens.

I will definitely do this again next year. I’ll update the thread when I start things for that, over winter. I love talking to neighbors, people who live near- I’m tired after, I’m an introvert, but I love that one day of it.


have ordered my seeds for next year with the free table in mind - this year I’m doing a lot of herbs for people, some perennials, flowers as well as the usual.

my grumpy neighbor brought over one of his many pumpkins around Halloween as a gift, he said his backyard gave him too many to eat. he saved seed too.

my herbs get started next week, then the onions.