Dear Gardening Community,
My name is Joshua Patterson I am posting this message to let you know
about a program I am trying to get started in Portland, Oregon.
Its called Yard Sharing. We all have that strip of grass between the
street and the sidewalk or that patch of grass we always neglect on
the side or in the back of our yard. Maybe your neglected space is in
your front yard.
Here in Portland our community gardens are overwhelmed with people. We
have too many people who want to have a garden and not enough space.
So I have gotten the idea of sharing yards with people who want or
need food producing gardens.
I have created a website where people can post spaces available or
people can post that they would like to create a garden. Its free I
will never charge to post or view or anything like that. I am just
trying to build a sustainable community and find a good way to allow
people to grow their own food.
Please check out our website at http://www.yardsharing.org and let us
know what you think. If you have ideas about how we can make this
program grow please let us know..
I'd be interested in how it works out.
My experience in garden sharing is mostly that they only want to share
in the harvest after I get it in a bag and never want to share in the
planting or maintaining of the garden.
And if they do share in the planting and maintaining, then they want
to do something entirely different then what I am doing and know to
Ours has been (we have a 1200 square foot garden), that they are gung-ho
at the beginning and leave their spot to languish right from the outset.
Then they return in the fall expecting things to automagically have
survived and grown or they don't return at all.
In either case, we paid for irrigation. We put in the weeding time. We
dealt with the bugs and disease. We didn't get to plant what we wanted
in that space. We either got or didn't get the harvest... if there was
one because our word is good and the produce belongs to whomever we've
given the space to. Others may not see it that way.
In an economy of scale, 45 to 60 square feet, one of our garden beds, is
a good sized production space and can supply a winter's worth of
In short, it isn't worth the pain to give the space to wannabees who
aren't willing to make a serious, up-front investment in their, albeit
temporarily theirs, garden.
We don't do it any more.
In article <wildbilly-A73F81.21344720102008@c-61-68-245-
People tend to value what they put money into or they value what makes
them money. Two kinds of direct feedback that result in, among other
What works with the public gardens here, is a flat, nominal investment
of $80 whatever your financial status. There is a contract that
delineates your responsibility and after signing, the plot is yours.
Then there's social pressure to keep up with or better the neighbours...
As I see it, the sickology of yard sharing is a bit different and the
only way I can see to alleviate the issues we encountered and maybe
those mentioned by CanopyCo is through a model based on and
administered by a public garden system.
We won't do it again for the reasons I've given but then we've also
moved on and our space is in use and every expansion is spoken for a
year in advance.
I'm glad this topic has come up because I've been refining the idea of
an herb project with local self-sufficiency in rare and not so rare
herbs as the goal. -- If it produces nothing more than local
consciousness raising, it will be useful in this locked-sphincter
...and maybe I can turn our local weeds into herbs :-)
[This followup was posted to rec.gardens.edible and a copy was sent to
the cited author.]
In article <9e6598d5-dd65-4fd3-8b60-595cee845ca8
I'd suggest you work out some kind of contract that clearly delineates
responsibility and who has to pay for irrigation, clean-up, etc. and how
much for a season.
Things like this look very good at first blush but without some kind of
formalized arrangement between owners, the city, etc. it could turn into
a real mess. --With issues of insurance, it may already be a real mess
waiting to be turned over. What about ownership of the produce in the
case of a dispute?
Curbside gardens of any kind are currently illegal in London Ontario
Canada. --It may be different in Portland, but growing corn at the
curbside, for instance, would probably be considered a traffic hazard
just about anywhere.
Finally, such as it is, the public garden system here is subject to a
fair bit of theft. How are you going to account for theft from what is
clearly considered common land for common use? That is, anything and
everything at curbside is divorced from an owner and therefore fair
game, for all. Then there's vandalism.
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