Reminder: The Next Exchange is Sat. March 25

Our next Plant Exchange is just over a week away, check out our latest updates:

  • We have many volunteer opportunities from 11am – 3pm and 3pm – 6pm. Email us at or call 510-866-8482 for more information.
  • Early donations drop-off continues this week with new hours added on Sunday, March 19th. For hours and instructions click here.
  • backdropStrut down our VIP green carpet and get your photo taken with your new-found treasures. (Download your free digital copies from our Facebook page.)
  • Help The Plant Exchange stay free and open to the public by shopping in our pop-up store. We have a variety of beautiful and unique treasures including decorative ceramic pots, ornamental succulent planters, and worms for your compost bin.
  • Check our list of Raffle Prizes for the most up-to-date list of goodies you could win at the exchange.
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Exciting News!

We are two and a half weeks away from our Spring Exchange and lots of exciting news to report!


  • Join us at 11 a.m. for two free gardening demos on Orchid Care and Creating Seed Balls before the exchange opens at noon.
  • Have your photo taken on our green carpet to celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary (no charge!)
  • Drop off your early donations starting March 13th. For hours, instructions, and directions go here.
  • Diamond Equine Services is donating excellent compost (finished, semi-finished, and hot) from a special blend of horse manure, fine shavings, and a bit of hay. It is available by the bag or truckload by appointment only. Text (415)505-9225 to set up a time for pickup.

Thank you to all of our supporters and volunteers, we couldn’t do this without you. See you all on Sat., March 25th!

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Feeling Lucky? Try Our Raffle!

The Plant Exchange is a grassroots effort to connect neighbors in the local community through the free exchange of information and donated plants and gardening materials. In the last 3 years we grew from 450 participants to 1000 and are expecting over 1,200 attendees this spring in celebration of our 10-Year Anniversary Celebration.

CrimsonHortIn order to keep the exchanges free and open to the public, each exchange features Raffle Prizes donated by local businesses. Prizes range from elaborate gift baskets to elegant bonsai trees to romantic bed and breakfast over night stays. Our raffle prizes page will be updated regularly from now until the March 25th exchange so make sure to check back often! Raffle tickets will be available for purchase from 12pm until 3:15pm, when Last Call is announced. The raffle drawings are held at 3:30pm, need not be present to win.

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The Joys of Drip Irrigation Systems

We will be hosting our 2nd event in our Sustainable Urban Gardening Speaker Series on Saturday, March 11th, from 2-4pm.

drip2The interactive presentation will cover Drip Irrigation Systems and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Rebates. Scott Sommerfeld, a registered landscape architect and EBMUD Water Conservation Representative for over 18 years, will lead the workshop. This hands-on session will review drip basics, EBMUD rebates to convert sprinklers to drip, and practice assembling a small system. Scott will also cover how to avoid common errors made with irrigation.

Tickets are $10 in advance (online, by phone, or check) or $12 at the door. Purchase your tickets early and come prepared to ask all your drip and irrigation questions! Discounted group rates are available, contact for more information.

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Gardening 101 Was a Huge Success

Feb11_6The Plant Exchange’s Speaker Series kicked off this last Saturday with Jeff Bridge of Ploughshares Nursery. With beautiful weather and at almost full capacity, Jeff taught a group of 28 everything we need to know to start our gardening journey.

The interactive workshop featured hands on instruction and many opportunities for attendees to try the skills and techniques discussed. Jeff covered everything from how to read fertilizer bags and seed packets to how to properly make and grow cuttings. He discussed what factors to take into account when planning a garden and led a vibrant Q&A session where he fielded attendee questions and provided personalized guidance. Each attendee walked away with one planted seed, one started cutting, and the knowledge to succeed. Jeff received outstanding reviews from our attendees and the two hour presentation concluded with audience cheers and applauds.

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Sustainable Urban Gardening Series Launches Feb. 11th!

Whether you’re starting a brand new garden or looking to enhance an existing one, this series is for you! Walk away with a new set of skills, techniques, and best practices you can start using immediately.

Held on the 2nd Sat. of every month (Feb. – Sept.) from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., our new workshop series offers hands-on interactive guidance on a variety of exciting and popular topics.

Our first workshop will be Gardening 101: Everything You Need to Know as a Beginner Gardener taught by Jeff Bridge of Plougshares Nursery. See our Sustainable Urban Gardening Speaker Series page for event flyer, full presentation description, and to buy tickets.

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Kaiser Permanente Joins The Plant Exchange for Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

The Plant Exchange and Ability Now Bay Area, with the help of Hands on Bay Area, participated in Kaiser Permanente’s annual MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 16th. 60 physicians, staff, family, and friends lead by East Bay Kaiser Permanente came together in service to honor Dr. King’s legacy and his commitment to improving lives by mobilizing communities.

Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and economic opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect world and taught us that everyone has a role to play. By volunteering to meet the needs of the community in which it serves, Kaiser Permanente put Martin Luther King’s words into action.  Continue reading

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Save the Date! Saturday, March 25th

10-year-anniversary-stickerHappy Birthday…to us! Celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary at their next semi-annual Plant Exchange on Saturday, March 25th from noon to 4 p.m. at 4500 Lincoln Avenue in Oakland.

The FREE event features live music, wonderful specialty food trucks, enticing raffle items, advice from the Alameda County Master Gardeners, a pop-up store with unique garden items, and more!

The all-volunteer run Plant Exchange celebrates abundance, generosity and community spirit. Come early and bring your friends. Event flyer and additional details coming soon!


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An Interview With Ability Now Bay Area’s Executive Director


Executive Director Leslie Werosh, MPA – For more information or to register for a 1 hour “Discovering Abilities” Tour, please visit our website at or call (510) 531-3323.


1. Tell me how you first got involved in with the organization or cause and why you’re interested in working there

When I was in high school in Chicago, I volunteered at an organization that provided a continuum of care and network of services for people with developmental disabilities. When I started, I did not know anyone with a physical or developmental disability, so I was not sure what to expect. As I arrived what I saw was exactly what everyone hopes for: excitement, laughter, belonging, and true happiness. Almost immediately I met a young woman with Downs Syndrome. She was young, passionate, energetic and ready to embrace life. I thought, “what’s so different about her”? She had values, goals, and interests, just like the rest of us. At 17 years old, I remember leaving thinking that inclusion is the only option. I left that day a different person and one that was committed to making sure our communities would see people for their strengths, contributions, and the true person that they are.

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Our new flyer for October

Hi Everyone!

Here is the new flyer for the Fall Plant Exchange.

Print it out, post it, send it to all your plant-loving friends.


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