Yardsharing (or yard sharing, garden sharing, land sharing or roof sharing) is a new idea and a new way to develop community resilience. Set to be a huge trend in 2010, people are looking for ways to save money, eat better and get their kids active again.
Yard sharing has a long list of advantages. Let’s assume you are already sold on the idea and you looking to get started. How do you begin it in a way that makes your success much more likely?
Creating community where you are will help you weather tough times but, community doesn’t just fall into place on it’s own. Real community building needs to start with clear intention, anticipation of issues and, especially with a garden, some basic planning.
How do you build a group that gets along?
- Pick you growing partners with the same attention you would any relationship but, know it only has to last a season if it turns out you haven’t found the right mix of folks.
- Start with a party not with a meeting.
- For a long-term group have seasonal parties to mark the year. Planning party on the winter solstice and harvest party in September.
- Gather resources you already have. Create a garden book share to start.
- Set realistic boundaries (garden hours, rules for broken items, distribution of produce)
- Involve all ages.
- Remember novice gardeners don’t always have immediate bountiful success.
- Take bad weather in stride. Some seasons are just bad.
- Set up a kitty for garden expenses and put a cap on it.(Some folks can really get crazy with those catalogs!)
- There’s no need to spend lots of money to get started. Don’t make it expensive to “buy in”
- Take a ‘resourcefulness vow.’ Have all members agree to try to solve issues the least expensive most resourceful way.
- Make it possible for people to exchange hours for financial commitment.
- Know that critters will occasionally get to things.
- Conflict is inevitable. Anticipate it and resolve it openly!
- Respect people’s time and property.
- Be ready to let someone know when it’s not working for you. Don’t blame ‘yard sharing.’
- Be fair. Share failure and triumph.
- If you are the landowner don’t treat people like “hired help.” They are your partners.
- Agree on growing methods and principles before breaking ground.
- If you have concerns about liability issues get a copy of The Sharing Solution by Nolo Press.
And a bonus!
Remember why you are doing it and enjoy every second of eating the scrumptious bounty from your efforts!
Join hyperlocavore today – We are here to help you get started with yard sharing, neighborhood produce exchanges, seed sharing and, much more!
We have some more tips and fliers you can download on the site to help get your communities growing together!