Group aims to let you cultivate your garden in somebody else's yard

MyCityGardens is a group that aims to connect people with a zeal for gardening but no yards with people with yards who'd love to see them cultivated but just can't do it themselves.

Their Web site features a map showing where people are looking for plots to garden and where people have plots that can be gardened.

It is true that so far, there are more gardeners than landholders in our system. BUT there is more gardening space out there than is visible on our map. We've observed the people with land who sign up to yard share tend to stay 'hidden' in our database (i.e. don't have a public profile), but reach out to gardeners with public profiles. So gardeners, create a post, even if you don't see available land nearby.

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    How cool is this?

    Although stuff like this has been happening informally for a while, I'll bet.

    When my dad got too old to manage his urban garden plot, two of his neighbors took it over. Of course, he could wander to the back yard and harvest what he wanted anytime ... and one of them brought eggs over, too. Informal, yes, but it benefited everyone to have that tiny, but rare bit of good garden land cared for.

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    I've been observing the formation of this

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    for the past few years.

    There is a fairly elaborate mosaic of farming and gardening arrangements rising.

    The city urban plots can get pretty territorial so this approach aims to answer the urge for more room.

    Finding good soil is the trick as suburb makers here usually mine the topsoil as a profit stream.

    And the natural alluvial pockets along extinct glacial lakes in places like Concord still retain fairly robust market farms.

    There are killer resources out there in addition to this one.

    This one is an interesting data base. http://www.localharvest.org/

    What a fantastic idea,

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    What a fantastic idea, everybody wins! There are many in the community with land that are unable to garden d/t age or disabilities, hopefully the word gets out to those folks. New friendships will be made. (Someone will find a way to ruin it, let's hope it takes a while.)

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    I have a few raised beds

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    And one of them I don't really use - I wouldn't mind sharing space. This is great!

    Great idea, but

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    who pays for the supplies? Shouldn't the property owner have to kick in some money, since they're the ones whose property values go up as a result of having a nice garden?

    I think this is actually a great idea for some of the city's landlords, who think weedwhacking the weeds down to grass height every 2 months equals landscaping.

    No set formula for this

    The gardener and the property owner need to work these things out because the situation varies.

    I have a friend in Atlanta who was bringing food to a 90-something neighbor and she offered up the use of her land in exchange for some of the food for her and for some others at her church. It was already mature garden soil - but he had to clear about 5 years of stuff off it, first. He was happy to do it - and she taught him how to grow stuff in that climate and soil.

    Of course, she couldn't pay for anything.

    I have heard of other arrangements where people work out different schemes, depending on the situation - gardener does it all, property owner shares existing garden, tenant gardener provides labor because the owner wants to garden but can't do the heavy work, etc.

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    Ya what a great idea

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    until that individual (who you hardly know) hurts themselves on your property and sues.

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    Or uses your property for

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    Or uses your property for some sort of illegal activity, storage, or disposal.

    I know, it isn't as if

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    strangers conduct honest transactions and interactions all around us all the time.

    But for those who are determined to ward off all property encroachments and stranger interactions, may I suggest making sure your place is properly protected by razor wire concertina coils and interlocking fields of fire.

    A light rated MG, tripod mounted, will do, and make sure to keep that sawed off double barrel at your side at all times.

    A few antipersonnel mines may help those who want to be really thorough. The "Bouncing Betty" model is tried and true. It's effectiveness is further enhanced with proximity detectors.