Montreal’s Urban Agriculture Expo happened this past weekend and I forgot to announce it before going, but it’s better to be late than never.

I’d like to introduce you to two websites whose booths were pointed out to me by Jean-Phillippe, a fellow farmer with whom I took the Ecole d’été agriurbaine course in 2010.

One of them is PlantCatching –, which is something like what BookCrossing does:

  1. Announce the location of gardening materials that you are happy to share or give away so that others who are looking for plants can find it.
  2. The website generates a tag for your giveaway. Print the tag, or write a note that includes the website URL code. Attach to the plant, seed, or bulb, or soil, compost, and containers you are giving away.
  3. Then put the giveaway somewhere it can be picked up. You may “advertise” by putting them out for any passer-by, and this will help publicize PlantCatching, but you can also offer things that can only be found by those who know where to look.

Whenever I give things away, I put them at the end of my sidewalk. Someone usually takes them!

The second website is local to the Montreal area – Troc ton jardin, which means “Barter Your Garden.” It’s a Gardening Circle pilot project in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, a biweekly meeting of gardeners who exchange their surplus fruits, herbs, and knowledge. The initiator of the project, Daniel Rochefort, encourages anyone to start up a Troc ton jardin chapter anywhere. Membership and plant exchange is free, and as such, it’s all voluntary. Also, by gardener, I mean of any style: household gardeners, container gardeners, business/condo-rooftop gardeners, community gardeners. Everyone is welcome.

This kind of person-to-person, sociable community participation is exactly what it’s like in rural areas: where when one wants to learn, you only need call up a neighbour to find a someone-who-knows. The only way this is different from the country is that being in a city, you have to be intentional to find what you need, person-to-person, so a group is needed. If anyone would like to start up a Troc ton jardin circle for Le Sud-Ouest, contact me. I’d be a happy co-conspirator.

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