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Garden sharing

Garden sharing is a local, regional, national and international method of gardening in which landowners and gardeners agree to share land, labor and harvest. It can be an informal verbal or written agreement between neighbors. Or, a formal contract between individuals, neighbors or organizations and landowners.

Ah, spring
Photo by Elaine C. Shigley

This method of gardening is helpful because it enables land to be shared for the purpose of growing food. It’s a win-win situation because unproductive land is used to benefit homeowners and gardeners. Communities also benefit from any surplus produce. It’s also helpful in situations where communities are waiting to be allotted space for a community garden. Garden sharing can shorten the wait time and assist the community garden.

In simple two-party agreements, one party provides a plot of land to a gardener. The gardener agrees to plant and maintain the garden of fruits and vegetables. Both share in the harvest. Depending on the parties involved this agreement can be verbal or written.

Larger agreements between community residents and property owners involve various conditions. Some of these include accessibility to the property, behavioral considerations, planting choices, garden maintenance standards, use of equipment and acquisition and use of supplies. While larger agreements may be verbal, most organizations involved with garden sharing advocate a written contract.

Garden sharing organizations maintain Web sites where gardeners and property owners can be matched. They present projects and offer sample contracts. Persons and organizations interested in garden sharing should visit these sites for more information.

Gardeners can share land with property owners to create garden that will benefit both parties. Formal or informal contracts either verbal or written provide the guidelines for success. On line garden sharing organizations provide numerous services to landowners and gardeners.

Live long and well—garden.

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