10th Annual Plant Exchange Brings Gardening Community Into Full Bloom

Gardeners on the hunt for new plants and ideas can find both for free at this Saturday’s Plant Exchange, scheduled from noon to 4pm at 4500 Lincoln Avenue in Oakland (near Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral). 

“The exchange encourages gardeners to trade their excess with others in their neighborhood,” said The Plant Exchange founder Odette Pollar. “People can take home new plants for their yard, and have an instant new garden!”

The gathering happens twice yearly in spring and fall. Following the principles of reuse, recycling, and organic living, participants can exchange plants, equipment, and information. Aapproximately 3,500 plants, tools, and supplies change hands between gardeners, landscapers, urban farmers, and outright beginners.

Run by volunteers, this weekend's event is the 10th annual exchange since Plant Exchange established itself as a nonprofit. The inaugural gathering was held in a volunteer's front yard, but the event has gotten significantly larger since, attracting around 2000 attendees, staffed by 250 volunteers.

“This event simply couldn’t happen without our many, many volunteers, and friends such the Alameda County Master Gardeners who help with plant identification, along with the generosity of the Grand Lake Ace Hardware and Garden Center,” said Pollar.

Photo: Plant Exchange

Admission is free, but to participate, attendees must bring something to share like plants, pots, tools, gardening books, or decorative elements.

The exchange welcomes all types of plants and equipment. Many gardeners use the fall exchange as a way to clear gardens of cuttings and sprouts from perennials that need thinning or dispose of equipment no longer needed after the summer growing season.

The meet starts at noon and goes until 4pm, with live music, specialty food trucks, raffles, and a pop-up store offering unique gardening items. Early arrivals can also take participate in interactive gardening demonstrations beginning at 11am.

Participants can drop off items for exchange before this Saturday’s event. Those interested in learning more information can call 510-866-8482 or email connect@theplantexchange.com.


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