Seed and plant swapping grows connections
By Lisa Nicklanovich; photo courtesy of Nash Bochner
When Nash Bochner inherited 15 plants from a friend who was moving out of state, he looked at them all and asked himself, “How do I keep these alive?” Bochner had never owned a plant before. Caring for these plants sparked an interest that led Bochner to enroll in a horticultural program at Front Range Community College and to start a community seed and plant swapping exchange on Nextdoor.
“Seeing how much happiness those plants brought me and seeing their growth was super satisfying. It was like a mini pet,” Bochner said laughingly.
Working at the Plantorium Greenhouse and Nursery in Fort Collins fed Bochner’s interest. As his questions kept coming, his collection of seeds and plants kept growing. Bochner and his roommate started a garden in the yard of their rental in Fort Collins, using a broken bed frame’s scrap wood. “The garden was a huge learning experience. We didn’t know the spacing and we didn’t know how big the plants would get,” Bochner said. Experienced gardeners who worked with Bochner at the Plantorium would see pictures of his garden and offer help and advice.
Bochner moved back “home” to Castle Pines in August with three cars full of just plants. He and his Fort Collins roommate catalogued the many seeds they had acquired, including close to 90 different types of pepper seeds and many different types of tomatoes, squash and cucumber, to name just a few.
The Nextdoor seed and plant swap idea came from having so many seeds and plants that Bochner wanted to share. Within four days of posting, he had 30 responses, with a mix of experienced gardeners and people who were new to the plant community. Bochner said, “My first swap went really well! I traded two of my coleus cuttings and a prayer plant cutting for pothos, jasmine and pencil cactus cuttings. Very excited!”
Bochner invited anyone interested to join in and learn from each other. “It would be cool to see everyone grow together and support each other through the network,” Bochner said.
Whether it is food or a flower, Bochner’s enthusiasm for bringing life to everyone’s home is evident and growing along with the Nextdoor group.
“I’d love to see the group grow, and I think it would be cool for people to just go talk to a neighbor about something rather than going on the internet,” Bochner added.
To join the seed and plant swap, email Bochner at firstname.lastname@example.org.