UPDATE: The plant swap is growing like a dandelion doused with fertilizer (like mad, in other words)!

Here is a partial list of participants & vendors at the April 24 swap. Cotton St. Farms, Slow Food North Louisiana, NW Louisiana Master Gardeners, NWLA Gardeners, Queen Bee Hippie (body and beauty items made with honey and other natural products), Wired & Sassy Jewelry, The Plant Station, Cone Farm and Garden Mart, Yeero, Yeero Food Truck (Greek food), Taqueria El Eden (traditional Mexican), & Taylor’d Eatz (Jamaican food). There will be garden-related and inspired antiques and vintage for sale, worm castings for sale, lots of FREE seeds and starter plants, and a GIANT table of FREE cookbooks to show you how to use all the bounty of the earth. In addition, people will be selling and swapping succulents, spider plants, bromeliads, bulbs and more. THIS JUST IN: several hundred cookbooks featuring recipes for garden bounty will be available for FREE.

If you are planning to set up a table for the items you wish to swap/give away/sell, please contact me here so I can reserve you a spot.

Remember, the swap starts at 10 am for the public, and it will be held RAIN OR SHINE because The Lot is covered. For loads more information, read below.

The Lot at 400 Crockett Street

The Lot in downtown Shreveport has become ‘the’ place for food trucks, live music and vendors and fun outdoor events, but on April 24, it will host a first for the local community- a plant swap. Plant swaps are fairly common events, but to our knowledge, this is a first for our area, certainly on this large a scale. Google plant swap and you will see that different folks run them in different ways, but one thing is universal- you bring something and swap it for something else. In our case, we are asking that the ‘something’ that you bring be plant-or-garden related, like plants, rootings, seedlings, seeds, gardening equipment of any type, garden art, windchimes, pots, whatever it is that you have, make or grow that someone else might want to have, too.

On the same day as the plant swap is the big C&C Mercantile and Lighting Downtown Mercantile Spring Market event. It runs from 10 am- 8pm at 1110 Texas Ave. We encourage you to come to BOTH events!

The idea for our so-called ‘Snowmageddon Plant Swap’ came in February during the week of our devastating snow and ice weather event. It appeared that every potted plant and many garden plants had been dealt a death blow by the cold. Social media posts started appearing almost immediately. “Are my plants going to survive?” “What should I do?” “How much have I lost?” The answers to those questions will vary wildly depending on a lot of variables, but one thing IS certain- plants were lost, and lawns and gardens might look puny for a while. During the social media chatter, ‘plant exchanges’ were mentioned as a low-cost way for people to supplement their gardening stock without the big expense of having to buy everything all over again, but the logistics of a city- or area-wide plant exchange seemed a bit daunting.

We thought the concept sounded great for a number of reasons. People were already talking online about plants that they could share, and it seemed like this could be a fabulous way to get a whole bunch of like-minded people together to share plants, growing tips and ideas and leave with some fun new things for their garden. I contacted Edgar and Deshea Guzman, the energetic couple now running the former Sportran Bus Terminal at 400 Crockett Street as a business called The Lot Downtown to ask if the Downtown Development Authority could hold the plant swap there. Edgar and Deshea loved the idea, and the rest, as they say, will be history.

It’s a simple concept, but we know we will learn a lot at this first-ever swap. The event will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 10 am- 4 pm at 400 Crockett Street at The Lot. We ask that you go online to the Snowmageddon Plant Swap page on Facebook and get a free ticket showing that you will be coming to give us an idea of the numbers of visitors we might see. We encourage people to bring at least one plant or garden item to swap or give away. There are no limits on the quantity of items that you bring, but all plants must be pest free.

You can sell items, too, but if you want to bring things to sell, we ask that you also bring some items to swap or give away. You can bring anything that fits into the ‘garden’ or ‘plant’ category; seeds, plants, cuttings, starters, pots, garden tools, garden art, windchimes, soil, bags of compost, gardening books or brochures and the like. Please make it so that you can separate your plants and cuttings individually so they will be easier to trade and include information regarding the type of each plant, cutting or seed. People will need to know the names of what they are getting.

We plan to have tables set up so that folks who bring items will have a place to display and trade. If you would like a dedicated area for a large number of items to sell or trade, please call the DDA at 318-222-7403 and ask for Liz.  

We hope this will be a lot of fun and provide free and lower cost opportunities to make your garden green again, perhaps with some plants or vegetables you have never grown before. It will definitely be a day to meet other folks who garden, ask a lot of questions and make some new friends. The event will be held rain or shine.

More Questions, Answered

Who can participate? Anyone who wishes. We encourage you to bring at least one plant or garden item to swap or give away. You are not limited on the quantity of items that you bring, but all plants must be pest free. Tickets to come and swap plants are free, but we need a head count. Get your ticket here.

Can I Sell Items, too? Yes, if you want to bring plants or gardening-related items to sell, you can, but we ask that you also bring some things to swap or give away.

What can I bring? Seeds, plants, cuttings, starters, pots, garden tools, garden art, windchimes, soil, bags of compost, gardening books or brochures. Please pot your plants individually and wrap your cuttings individually. It will make it easier to trade them. Please include tags with information regarding the NAME of each plant, cutting or seed and if you wish, information on how to plant/care for them. People will need to know the names of what they are getting.

Who Are the Plant Swap Partners? Shreveport DDA and The Lot have been joined by members of the NWLA Gardeners Group on Facebook. Cotton St. Farms will be with us on April 24, as will Queen Bee Hippie. All these flowers we will be planting are pollinated by local honey bees, and their honey is used in all of Queen Bee Hippie’s natural products!

Want to Partner with us on this? Email Liz here!

What Should Participants Bring?– Your items to swap. A couple of cardboard boxes for the stuff you will swap and take. Tags telling what your plants are. A few dollars in case you want to buy something. A big smile and neighborliness!

We hope to be able to provide tables for those who register to display their plants & wares, but at the very least there will be a big area of nice concrete, a covered space, bathrooms and at least one food truck.