The first Plants and Seeds Exchange of the Algarve – 1 Encontro de Troca de Plantas e Sementes do Algarve – took place last Saturday and it was a marvellous event.
We had been happy to help in a small way with the support of this event – we are not at all green-fingered (!) but we liked the idea of it .. it was literally locally-grown in every sense of the term .. and a new concept here in the Algarve.
The idea – although not a new one – is a simple one .. create an event where people can come along, share their plants and seeds with others, and go home with some new plants and seeds … and collect some new friends and advice along the way …
We were indebted to the fabulous Ginie and Alexandre for setting this up .. after visiting similar succesful events in other areas, they were inspired to organise this in the Algarve.
They galvanised support, local interest, and a venue, and organised all of the marketing and organisation .. and a hearty well done goes to them and everyone involved as this was a great event!
The venue was the lovely Associação Social e Cultural de Almancil (ASCA) and the weather was perfect for the outside layout
The building is next door to the local park in the centre of Almancil near to the secondary school – what an inspiring setting for plant-lovers:
Inside was all busyness as everyone arrived and set up their offerings .. and there was a fantastic range of plants and seeds on display:
And then suddenly – lots of people started arriving – and chatting – and sharing – and swopping plants and seeds:
Over a hundred people came to the event – and what was so lovely about it was the sense of friendliness and community that prevailed – it was genuinely a lovely atmosphere of people meeting up – making new friends – meeting old friends – sharing tips and advice – and enjoying themselves.
The setting was perfect – with lots of open space and light -and room to sit and chat and enjoy the sunshine too!
Soon there were stacks of plants and pots stored away ready to take home …
And more people arriving!
And we haven’t mentioned the food yet! Lots of the people attending also brought food with them to share .. soon there was a big table full of appetising and (almost all) home-made food .. we confess that we took a photograph early on whilst things were still being set up – and the food was all covered up and packed in bags and tubs … and then we got so into the plants and seeds section .. that when we turned around to photograph the food .. there were a lot of empty plates with crumbs on!
You’ll have to trust us .. the food was fab!
More was to come after lunch with a talk by the lovely Marilyn Medina Ribeiro from Waterwise Gardens who gave a presention on collecting, cleaning, storing and germinating the seeds of plants native to the Algarve:
And then suddenly it was all over and time to pack up – any plants or seeds left over at the end of the day were being collected up to be given to local charities or community groups that would find them useful – nothing was wasted!
And a lot of people left clutching their boxes and bags full of new delights to plant and enjoy from the day.
“I had so much fun yesterday and it was so delightful to meet so many different people!
Thank you to all who made it possible!”
The feedback from the event has been lovely – and the organisers have already set up a Facebook group so that you can register your interest in future events and keep in touch with everyone that attended this event – and we are sure there are going to be more – this was such a great day out with a fabulous community ‘local’ feel to it – and the best thing of all – no money changed hands the whole day!
You can click here to visit the Facebook Group’s page or click the logo below:
Congratulations again to everyone involved for creating such a great event – and here’s to the next one! Who knows … maybe next time we might even take some plants home and see if we can keep them alive!