Here’s what your tweet should look
I nominate @hyperlocavore for a #ShortyAward in #food because (fill in your reason!)
The rules say you have to have been a member of twitter before the contest began. So please note that.
It’s time to plan your 2010 garden! Thrilling!! I know!
So we are looking for experienced gardeners to adopt a newbie again this year and share some seeds. Just use the sign up sheet and then contact each other directly via people’s profiles.
NOTE YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF HYPERLOCAVORE TO USE THIS
It’s free please join!
If you have seeds you want to send to a Newbie Gardener, please sign up as a Seed Angel.
If you are a NEW gardener that would like to receive a getting started garden in the mail sign up as a NEWBIE.
If you are a gardener who would like to swap seeds (seeds for seeds) please sign us as WANT TO SWAP.
(If you are in the growing business, please be a Seed Angel or Swap.)
This is a wonderful part of our community. Please help us keep paying it forward. That’s where all the magic is!
Please don’t use the forum below to post your requests.
Please use THIS FORM TO SIGN UP
If you are like me you try a lot of new things. You’ve been through all the seed catalogs and your seeds are making their way to you right now. You’ve probably over done it again in your enthusiasm. You have saved seed from seasons past. You have seeds from failed experiments! You have enough extra to get one newbie gardener going!
This is how it works. All of you veteran gardeners out there, I’m talking to you! I just mailed four newbie gardeners enough extra seeds for all of them to have lush edible gardens this season!
Pick a newbie gardener on hyperlocavore.com and send them a mix of various seeds, flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables to help them get growing this season! It took me a few hours to do this for eight different people.
What’s in it for you? Well, the pleasure of giving of course! I just mailed four six gardens and I cannot wait to see how my fledgling gardeners grow.
To the newbie gardeners, I can’t guarantee you will wind up with a seed packet in the mail. I can’t guarantee that you will be sent your favorite fruits, vegetables or herbs. If you receive something you do not intend to plant I only ask that you find someone in the seed swap forum who would like to plant them, and then send them on. This is an experiment! Hopefully a fun and fruitful one!
Note: Posted as a guest post at the most awesome chicken site run by my friend Orren Fox. Please visit Happy Chickens Lay Healthy Eggs to satisfy your poultry keeping curiosity! Orren is raising chickens and honey bees. He’s thirteen years old but, he’s my teacher when it comes to happy chickens! Love his tagline: “There’s a Fox in the henhouse!” Read his blog!
You like pizza, right? Here’s a cool project for you and your buds and BFFs to take on this Spring – a pizza garden! There may be no more spaghetti trees left in the world but, you can grow a pizza…kind of!
There are a few things you guys need to know before starting a new garden, so let’s start this right. Great gardens depend on gardeners who know what zone they live in and what kind of soil they have. We all live in different zones. A zone is about the kind of weather you have, how early fall frost comes and how late you might get a killing frost in spring. Where I live, it’s not a good idea to plant until after Memorial Day. If you plant too early you may lose all your baby plants to a bad night of frost! That is a huge drag so figure this out before you start planning your pizza garden.
OK got it? Write that down in your garden notebook! It will be important when you are finding seeds. Keeping a garden notebook is useful to you if you keep gardening. You can use it to remember what works best where you live. Now let’s learn how to test your soil type. You can start seeds inside way before that though.
It’s a good idea to get a jump on the season and have strong teenager plants who can handle the summer much better than the babies.
There are three main types of soil: clay, sand and loam. So go to the area in your yard where you want to plant your pizza garden. Dig down about 2 inches and grab a hand full of soil. Try to roll that hand full into a ball.
- If you have sandy soil you won’t be able to form a ball at all, it will just fall apart.
- If you can make a ball about the size of a big grape you have clay soil.
- If your ball holds together a bit but, is kind of crumbly and comes apart when you stop squeezing it’s loam soil.
Here’s a way to fix most soil types – but this fix takes months so you need to plan in advance. Sometimes you need to add a little bit of this or a little bit of that to make the soil ready for planting. If you don’t have a lot of time do some research on sustainable and organic methods to correct your soil type. OK, there’s no such thing as a pepperoni bush and most of you don’t have your own cow to milk to get your mozzerella. But you can grow most of the veggies that make it taste so crazy good! So what do you need to grow in a pizza garden?
Let’s make a list:
- the alliums: onion and garlic
- herbs: parsley, oregano and basil
- bell peppers
Sounds very doable! Garlic is important and onions as well, even if you don’t like them on top, they make the sauce sweet. When you sauté onions they “caramelize” which is a fancy way of saying they become a sugar. When sugar is heated up but not burned it turns to “caramel,” which is what those chewy candies actually are – cooked sugar!
Onions and garlic are the more complicated part of the garden. Usually people plant most onion and garlic “sets” in the fall of the previous year, so it’s a little late for 2010. Mushrooms are a whole other project. NEVER pick them from your yard. They can be poisonous! Here are some onions you can grow from seed in some zones: Italian Red Onions (Flat of Italy) or Ringmaster Onions (Great for onion rings too!)
Plant them about four feet or more from your tomatoes and herbs. For now you might want to just pick up garlic at the store, unless your parents already know how to grow it. For next year, make a note you will want to find a good seller for garlic “sets,” and plant them in October.
So where does all that red sauce come from? The lycopene in tomatoes makes them red, and it’s also really good for you. It’s the same stuff that makes carrots orange, and watermelons pink. But it’s not in cherries. It helps your cells repair themselves and keeps your eyes strong.
Growing tomatoes is pretty easy and they taste SO much better than the ones you get at the store. There are three types of tomatoes: slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and paste tomatoes. Paste tomatoes are the kind you use to make thick yummy spaghetti and pizza sauce.
So here are the top paste tomatoes. San Marzanos are from Italy home of spaghetti and pizza! Amish Paste tomatoes will also work. If you can’t find either of those, look for a “paste” type tomato that grows in your hardiness zone.
OK onto the herbs, herbs are a big part of making pizza so tasty. You’ll want to grow oregano, parsley and basil. The best oregano for pizza is “True Greek Oregano.” It’s a perennial which means it comes back every year if you live in zones 4-9.
Basil is an awesome annual. Annuals need to be planted with new seed every year. You can use it in the sauce or on top of the pizza in big whole leafs. A classic real Italian style pizza is just mozzarella, big basil leaves, some great fresh mozzarella, slices or small cherry tomatoes and a little olive oil. A green pizza sauce called “pesto” is made with tons of fresh basil a little olive oil and a cup or so of roasted pine nuts. We grow a lot of basil every year and freeze tons of basil pesto sauce. Just put a ton of basil and a little olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend it up, then put it in small containers in the freezer. Tastes like summer in the middle of winter! YUM!
There are a ton of basil types to grow but, for pizza, you really want one of these types: Genovese or Italian Leaf Basil. Growing tomatoes and basil close together is a classic “companion planting” combo. Basil and tomatoes kind of love each other. Maybe it’s a just a serious crush. Who knows really? They are happiest when they are hanging out. Folks see them together all the time! Plant three basil plants for every one tomato plant.
Don’t tell basil but, parsley likes tomatoes too! You can plant this in between to your tomato plants, as well. We just hope it’s doesn’t make basil jealous! There are a few kinds of parsley. One kind usually ends up on the side of the plate to make it pretty and the other kind is the stuff that tastes so good. Parsley also is a good breathe freshener so if ever Uncle “Bad Breath” Bob needs a bit of something to make their breath sweeter, you can sneak him a sprig of parsley without telling them “Hey Dude, you really need a breath mint.” – because that’s pretty rude.
Bell Peppers are a controversial topic. Some kids love em, some kids hate em. They are easy to grow and love a hot climate. Fire roasted red bell peppers are delish on pizza. The peppers caramelize like the onions and garlic do and become very sweet! Try that technique ONLY with your parents close by.
If you live in a hot place by the sea you may be able to grow an olive tree and make your own olive oil. That’s kind of a long time to wait for pizza though!
Here are some more links to help get you growing!
Seed List (Follow link then scroll down – seeds are low on these pages)
More Helpful Links:
No yard? No problem.
Visit hyperlocavore.com a yard sharing community. We work to hook neighbors and friends up in yard sharing groups – makes gardening more fun and less expensive!
We’re here to help you get going. Join us. It’s free. Then send an invite out to your friends (with your parents permission of course!) on the site and set up a pizza garden group! You can even post blogs, pictures and videos to show off your pizza garden project!
hyperlocavore.com a yard sharing community because everyone love a homegrown tomato!
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!
It’s been an amazing first year. It started with a huge turn both privately and publicly. Obama’s inauguration was the highest point and the lowest point. On that same evening we got the news that my father was not well, and six months later he was gone.
He taught me many things some useful and some not at all. I am grateful most of all that he told me many times that I could do anything I set my mind to. He certainly thought them strange, many of those things that I have set my mind to. I was able to share some interviews I had done before he died, and he liked the idea.
He was never a gardener but, always a foodie and a fiend for the super fresh. Some of my best memories of him are the car trips we’d take down California, through the Central Valley stopping at all the fruit stands. The last time we went out together, we went to a fruit stand just down the road from my aunt Duff’s where we were staying. He was too weak to drive and only tolerating fruit at this point. In a real rare moment, he let me drive. Clearly a sign he didn’t have much fight left in him.
My brother Matt got married this year to a great woman with a fantastic sense of humor named Angela. Dad hung on until the wedding in May. We were so glad to have something joyful to gather around, as we knew we would be gathering soon again for something with no joy in it. I have no idea where he found the strength to make the flight. He was a wisp by then, as you can see in the picture at his full strength he was a lion of a man. We had a bagpiper at the service. I wish we hadn’t done that, from now on the sound will rip through me.
This started as a” Ten Top posts” blog but, I digressed. I haven’t been able to talk about this year much. So thank you for indulging me. There’s no talking about this year without talking about losing my dad. When he lost his ability to enjoy food, his sense of taste and smell gone, a full belly causing pain, nausea and reflux, he didn’t want to be here any more. I understand that. I’m a foodie, because he was. I care about food, taste, and freshness because he did.
Throughout the year friends and family have come through over and over again. People I didn’t know very well reached across the screen and gave me themselves. I’ve been surrounded by love and support by the people who I have gotten to know through this project. I can’t mention you individually. The list is so long. I am so grateful to all of my new friends. Without the encouragement you’ve given me so consistently through this very difficult year, I do not know where I would be really. This project, certainly, would not have survived.
My wish is that 2010 brings all of you as much as you have given me and more.
And here we go:
As gardeners of all stripes will tell you, winter is the planning season. Stuck inside, with little chance to get your hands dirty, it is the perfect time to pause and reflect. What will your garden be? Who will you bring into the project? What are your hopes? How will you get the resources together? What will you plant? What worked last year and what did not? There is a lot to think about, and when the days get short and the night long – dreaming is the best thing to be doing, because come spring you will be very busy.
1. Start Finding Partners NOW. It can take a while to work out agreements and plan for a substantial garden. The sooner you start the more successful you will be at finding the right folks and planning for your yardshare. Call your friends who live in apartments or your grandmother who knows a thing or two about growing food in your area…Make it a family affair, or a way to gather some folks you don’t get to see often enough. Or bring up a yard sharing project at your house of worship. Perhaps your faith community would be interested in growing fresh food for the hungry this spring? It pays to start now. Healthy groups and good agreements take time to develop!
2. Start it off with a party! Once you have found some people you would like to garden with, have a potluck party and celebrate your new community! Getting to know people over a shared meal and music sets the proper tone for real community. It above all should be fun and light. Save the substantial discussions for another day. Light candles to brighten the winter dark, play some good music, talk about your dreams for the garden or gardens and break bread together because this is the beginning of something wonderful!
3. Read up. Get a copy of The Sharing Solution by Nolo Press. Read it! For those that are more risk averse and have some anxieties about how to share without encountering legal bumps this is the place to start. I am not a lawyer, so I suggest everyone with these sorts ofconcerns consult my favorite legal eagles – Nolo press. Make a list of other books that are useful to your yard share group. Will you use permaculture methods, bio-intensive or no till? Bring everyone up to speed! Tons of great books are available in our hyperlocal Indiebound bookstore or you can create your own little library.
4. Create your online home. Once you have found your yard share group start your private pod on hyperlocavore to share planning, documents, videos, pictures, links and jokes! Teach each other what you know about how to grow in your zone and create a place where new members down the line can catch up on all the ideas and wisdom you’ve gathered. Documenting things will help you evaluate what worked and what did not in terms of what you tried to grow but also in how you chose to organize the project. Imagine the yard share going on for many seasons, plan for success by sharing knowledge from the start.
5. Have an expectations discussion early. Get your worries and how you will address them on the table. Do this online so people can flesh out their concerns, people can respond and agreements can be documented. If things get tense, have another potluck – and work it out over something yummy. Face to face builds real community, online tools can support it but doesn’t substitute for it. Start asking these sorts of questions…When is it OK to be at the home/yard of the host yard – and when is it NOT OK? Will you compost collectively? Is it a strictly organic garden?
6. Involve the Kids. If kids will be part of the garden share, make sure they participate in the planning and expectation setting. If they are involved at the start they are more likely to enjoy participating. Here’s a list of garden activities for kids. Work some kid centered fun into your plan. A garden is one of the best hands on learning experiences a kid can have. If you have any biology geeks in your group – maybe they can hold a lesson now and then?
7. Have a resource gathering. Gather together and make a list of all the things you hope to grow. Research what works for your zone and pull a kitty together and order your seeds and starts. Some heirloom and specialty seed houses run out of stuff before spring. some things like garlic starts go quickly. Take an inventory of who has what tools, seeds, transplants, cuttings and a list of the items you will perhaps need to buy. Plan for storage of tools and make sure people know where everything goes at the end of the day. Make sure people’s time, knowledge, and commitment is valued, money shouldn’t be the only currency you acknowledge. Be aware that many people are coming to the yard share project with a need to save not spend heavily. Get ready to bargain hunt and browse all those spring garage sales. It does not need to be an expensive project.
8. Talk to your neighbors about what you are doing. Introduce them to your new friends. Let them know about hyperlocavore, maybe they want to start their own yard share. Think about how this sort of project can revive the neighborhood.
9. Visit hyperlocavore.com and ask questions of folks that are already yard sharing. Share your ideas and concerns. Maybe someone has already worked through it. The forums are built for just this sort of sharing.
10. Plan for harvest, storage, success and failure. Some things you try will have fantastic results. Other things you try to grow will fail. Set your expectations with this in mind. Will you can or dehydrate the excess? Will you need to plan to purchase some tools for this as well? Will you seed save for swapping next year?
Let me know if this is helpful in the comments – and please add your own suggestions!
Please share this video with any one you know who might be interested in getting yard sharing going in their communities.
I can set you up very quickly! It’s a service your community can have up and running in minutes – for FREE!
twitter me @hyperlocavore
Let’s get growing!
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has
genius, power and magic in it!”
One of the most useful things I have ever learned in my life is that the most effective way to deal with worry and anxiety is to act on those things in your life that you can control, and leave the rest up to the Universe. Some call it the “Serenity Prayer.” Whatever you believe in or do not believe in, knowing just what you can control in your life and what you cannot is the key to your joy. This much I know.
Everyday we are presented with immense, rolling, overlapping catastrophes; environmental devastation, [swineflu!?] societal malaise and violence, and running out of the stuff that, we are told, underpins our every creature comfort – oil. All of these things are true. That hand basket you’ve heard so much about, we’re riding in it!
How do we “carry on”, as the Brits used to say? Well, I’m not at all interested in “carrying on” actually. Nose down, joy in check, plodding and miserable. I want to thrive. I was raised with mighty high expectations of what this life can be, and I’m not giving those expectations up. I want to reach the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I want to love and live well. And I want to eat REALLY well. I got used to that in the 1990’s.
Well, first I would like to suggest some humility, for many on the planet, this rolling crisis has been their daily experience for as long as they have lived. It is nothing new. Check in with yourself. What are you grateful for? What have you been given in life by your community, your family, your beloveds, your friends and your neighbors, by this Earth? You can read this. There must be someone who taught you to read. Take a moment. Sit with your gratitude.
That’s where I began when I starting building hyperlocavore.com – a free yard sharing community, sitting with my gratitude. I had just been laid off. It was April. I had been a tech strategy person at a 35 year old sustainability non-profit that had been fighting the good fight as long as I had been on the planet. I took an inventory…
Honestly? I can’t lie. First, I felt terror. Then, blind rage with a dollop of total panic. Boiling blood, fist shaking, laying curses on all who had done me wrong – all that. That lasted for a few months, if I tell the truth. Then there was a substantial period of pouting and just feeling so sad for myself, my poor pitiful sorry self. I bore easily. And I got bored with myself behaving that way, pretty quickly.
When I moved on, it was via gratitude. Sitting with and contemplating all that I was and am grateful for, after all the crying, bargaining and bemoaning had subsided. What did I have, well, besides the sweatpants I had been wearing for a few weeks? I am literate and reasonably intelligent, if broke. I have knowledge that people can band together and build amazing fantastical giant things, cities even, because I’ve been part of a community that does that every year now for much more than a decade. I speak of the Burning Man festival and year round astounding creative beautiful community made of doers. I believe I write well enough.
And I have a good idea that has been bugging me since I was about 5. I used to look at the inside of city blocks in San Francisco and wonder, why the heck were the yards all fenced off, in the middle and mostly unused. Why not, I thought way back then, tear those fences down and build a garden full of fruit trees, nut trees and veggie patches? Why don’t people grow food there?
I am grateful that I grew up in the Silicon Valley, a place that fed my voracious curiosity and kept me tinkering. I am grateful for growing up in the Bay Area, a place absolutely crammed with practical minded revolutionaries and doing daring dreamers. The rest of the country seems to think the only thing we gave them was tie-dye and 4 foot bongs, but they would be mistaken. The Bay Area is a place that teaches everyone “Why Not?” A society of people that does not let you just talk about a good idea without telling you, in chorus, to “DO IT!” It is tough to get away with a lot moaning and jaw flapping in a place like that.
Yard sharing is all about being grateful for what you have, not anxious about what you don’t. It’s about responding practically to chaos, to the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. Never in all my life did I think I would quote Donald Rumsfeld but, there you are. These are strange days, indeed!
You do know these things for sure. You know you need healthy food and you know you need it cheap. So do all your friends and neighbors, the members of your faith communities, so does your slacker posse. So does your family. Doing for yourself, deepening your food security and your community resilience is the most direct thing you can do to bring your rational and general anxiety down to a manageable size. Sit down to a meal that you grew yourself from seeds which you saved, bread you baked, eggs you gathered, and you will know in your bones that you and yours will be alright.
We get new people signing up to the social network every single day, practical people looking to get down to business. I built the site because a lot of us don’t have all resources or skills we need to grow our own. Some of us lack time, some lack space, some have physical limitations, or lack certain tools. Some have so little experience growing things that the task seems overwhelming. Where do we start? All of these issues can be minimized in a well gathered and tended yard sharing group, a healthy community.
Some folks are linking up yards and creating mini suburban farm/CSAs, like Kipp Nash in Boulder, Colorado. Each family gets a weekly box of the freshest produce and the rest he sells at the farmers market. If this looks like the job for you, come on by the site and find some farm clients and yards to tend! Kipp’s got eight yards he is farming. Will you ever look at a lawn again in the same way? When I see a sad lone Honey-Doer on a loud riding mower all I see is wasted space, wasted water and meaningless work.
Look at the world with this skew and green thumbs will appear and share the secrets of plant whispering, food waste will be gathered from multiple households and make a formidable sweet smelling compost pile. Friends will band together to buy 3 year old apple trees, for a lifetime of apples. Abuelitas will pass on magic recipes and kids will coax worms to party in warm living soil. Their curiosity will catch fire! Streets will become neighborhoods, neighbors will become friends. No one will feel alone, frozen or powerless, because no one will be alone, frozen or powerless. Potlucks will abound! All will eat better.
This is the future we see, we hyperlocavores. We know it’s coming, because we’re building it right now. Who has time to fret? Pass the cornbread and fresh salsa. Look someone brought the boom box! Start building, now.
Our great, great grandparents used to have victory gardens but, they also had rent parties. Londoners danced in underground tunnels as fire came down from the sky. They stayed put. They raised rent, barns and kids together. They didn’t just survive, many of them thrived. I hope we will all use this compound crisis as a reminder that the hard times are very often the very best of times. Take note of what you have, be grateful for your loved ones. Take note of those around you who may feel alone. They are not and you are not, alone.
We, each of us every moment of the day, will choose our responses to what’s happening. Some will choose to go numb, watch more TV, play more video games, surf mindlessly. Some will chose hate, rage, to nurse grievances or will choose take their pain out on the people around them, in most cases it will be the people they love most in this world. Look around. Is that what you want for your beloveds?
Will you choose another day of fear, of distrust, anger or powerlessness, of envy, isolation …complaining or will you choose the plentiful garden, the neighborhood, real community, real food and pleasure?
“There’s only two things that money can’t buy,
That’s true love and homegrown
– Guy Clark
I would add ‘real community’ to that list of things money can’t buy.
I choose real community, dancing in the chaos, pleasure, delectable
food and the edible and musical neighborhood.
LizM – connector/maker/digger
twitter me @hyperlocavore
On Choosing – A Hyperlocavore Responds to
Catastrophe by Liz McLellan is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
Based on a work at hyperlocavore.wordpress.com.
Some folks are taking the yard sharing idea a step further. Meet Kipp Nash of Boulder Colorado, who farms 8 neighbor’s yards as a Community Supported Agriculture operation called Community Roots CSA. In 2009 Kipp Nash and the team at Community Roots are developing a program to directly feed five food insecure families in the Boulder area and are looking for donations in support of this project.
I built Hyperlocavore.com in part to encourage aspiring food growing entrepreneurs like Kipp to consider the serial yard CSA approach. I encourage interested growers to join the site to seek and maintain yard sharing client relationships, share your experiences with other suburban farmers and yard sharing groups. The site is free. Feel free to create wide area groups such as “Seeking Yardshares, Chicago, IL” in order to find farming clients or private groups such as “New Day Suburban Farm,” which would be just the yards which you have linked together in your yard share farm.
Other yard share farmers:
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays!
“You know, the tomato that’s from your garden tastes very different from one that isn’t. And peas – what is it like to eat peas in season? So we want the White House to be a place of education and awareness. And hopefully kids will be interested because there are kids living here.”
– Michelle Obama on the Whitehouse Vegetable Garden
“hyperlocavore.com,” which blends bottom-up collaboration with food production. It’s an example of peer-to-peer agriculture, and it’s a pretty neat concept. The founder of hyperlocavore wrote to me, saying that she thought this was a pretty “worldchanging” idea. I agree. Check ’em out.”
What is a ‘hyperlocavore’?
A hyperlocavore is a person who tries to eat as much food as locally as possible. Growing your own is as local as it gets!
What is ‘yardsharing’?
Yard sharing is an arrangement between people to share skills and gardening resources; space, time, strength, tools or skills, in order to grow food as locally as possible, to make neighborhoods resilient, kids healthy and food much cheaper!
Why would I want to set up a yardsharing group?
Yard sharing is a way to connect people who love to garden, people who love healthy fresh food and people who have yards! Often people who have yards have little time time for a vegetable garden. And sometimes gardeners have trouble finding soil to garden in because they rent an apartment! Sometimes older people lack stamina and are socially isolated, finding younger people to partner in growing food together works wonderfully for all. There are all kinds of reasons it makes sense.
Yard sharing works for:
- apartment dwellers
- busy parents
- older people
- tree huggers
- cheap bastards
- farmers lacking land
- land holders lacking farmers
- people sick of leaf blowers
- curious kids
- folks with a disability
- people who want to get outside more
- people that want to eat better
- people that want to eat cheaper
- people who want to make their community resilient
- people who like their food super fresh
- people worried about peak oil
- and maybe you! (if you’re not on the list – send me a note!)
Yard sharing cuts down on greenhouse gases by limiting the travel time of fruit and vegetables to your table.
Yard sharing is a great way to connect with your family, friends and neighbors!
Yard sharing helps you eat more veggies!
Yard sharing can be a workable solution for people with physical limitations who want to eat better and more cheaply.
Yard sharing is an excellent way to teach children about food and biology!
Yard sharing is a great way to get cheaper produce to older people on a fixed income!
Yard sharing helps you get enough vitamin D from sunshine!
Yard sharing is a way to avoid pesticides and other chemicals on your food!
Yard sharing is a fun activity to share!
Yard sharing helps to create independent local food systems that are less sensitive to the price of oil.
And nothing tastes as good as food you grew yourself!
Who can yard share?
Anyone! If you don’t see a group for your area just create one! Then send invites to people in your neighborhood, your friends and
their friends and maybe you will find someone willing to start with you!
OK, Sign me up! No! Wait, is it free? Yes? OK, Sign me up!
This post is part of Fight Back Fridays!
hyperlocavore.com is a free social network here to help you form a yard sharing group with people in your neighborhood, a group of friends, a community restaurant and it’s neighbors, members of your family, faith communities or new friends made on hyperlocavore.
I’m in the process of writing a workbook for yard sharing groups and I could use your input!
The success of any garden share depends entirely on the expectations set by the entire group at the outset of the relationship between the members of the group. Respect of each other’s needs and hopes for the project should be a given.
It’s important to keep the workbook a flexible tool. I am assuming groups will have different needs regarding the formality of their agreements. My question to you is what sort of things would you need to work through in an agreement with your yardsharing members before you felt comfortable forming a working group?
- What needs to be in your agreement?
- What would be a deal breaker?
- What questions would you have for the garden or property owner?
- What questions would you have for the gardeners in the group?
- What questions would you want to work through regarding finances for your group?
- What is important to formalize?
- What is important to keep loose?
These agreements will depend only on what each group sorts through. How can we help make these groups enjoyable and workable for all the people involved?
Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts!
First a definition, a hyperlocavore tries to eat as much food as close to home as possible, in order to reduce the food miles that his food travels. It is an extension of the term locavore. A locavore typically tries to eat seasonally within 100 miles of her home, to reduce food miles and to develop the local economic base. A hyperlocavore therefore wants to bring food even closer. And what’s closer than your neighborhood? We have a time crunch, we have land and property that is loosing value fast, we have kids who don’t know where their food comes from, and we have a climate crisis.
Hyperlocavore.com, a social network, is here to help facilitate yardsharing. Yardsharing and group growing is new. It’s different from a community garden – but the site (hyperlocavore.com) can be used to create and manage one. A yardshare might be an arrangement between an elderly couple and a young one to grow more food cheaply for both. Or friends who live in an apartment and a friend in the burbs to save money and food miles.
This is a list of the reasons I think group gardens and yardsharing is an idea whose time has come. The links hide some people, websites and imagery that have inspired me to build hyperlocavore.com. Have fun exploring. Every reason is not meant to appeal to everyone. See if just one make sense to you! Then join us to explore the possibilities. The site is free, and you do not need to commit to anything to participate. It’s new to most of us. It’s up to you what makes sense for you and yours. We just hope to inspire and facilitate. If you agree with more than two of these, you just may be a hyperlocavore!
(A note: I’m a North American, citizen of the U.S., so this certainly reflects some of my perspectives and biases. Please contact me if I’ve got something really wrong, I’m happy to discuss any concerns!)
- You want to taste those real tomatoes you’ve heard so much about.
- You want to decrease your reliance on fossil fuels.
- You want to teach your kids where food comes from.
- You want the smell of soil in your nose.
- You want to pick your salad from your porch.
- You want your neighborhood to have positive street life.
- You want to be less isolated.
- You want to build food security into your life.
- You want to get more sun!
- You want to develop some upper arm strength.
- You want a hotter bootie!
- You want to help that nice old man down the block. He works too hard!
- You want your neighborhoods to have cheap access to healing herbs!
- You want to be a farmer but you have no farm.
- You want your high cholesterol to go down!
- You miss the family farm.
- You especially miss the rooster on the family farm.
- You want to lead and not to follow!
- You want to be more independent.
- You want to show em how it’s done!
- You want to walk out the door and eat mangoes!
- You want your children to be sustainably self sufficient.
- You want your children to eat their veggies.
- You want to involve your family in a group activity.
- You can’t live without fresh organic veg, and it seems to be getting too expensive!
- You want to do something with your friends besides drink beer.
- You’ve never been able to find that Hatch chili from where you grew up.
- You want to shorten the distance from farm to plate.
- You have a brown thumb and want to know what that’s all about.
- You have a yard that is full of weeds.
- You want to reduce the chemical load on your body.
- You think the lawn is a sign of all that is wrong with America.
- You hate mowing.
- You know that cute chic down the block is a big freakin’ hippy but you wanna get to know her betta anyway.
- You know that dude down the block is a big freakin’ hippy but you wanna get to know him betta anyway.
- You took Obama’s call to service to heart.
- No one sees your gardening triumphs.
- You want to lessen your ecological footprint.
- You look around and you see your neighborhood dying, and you want to do something.
- You have been blessed and you want to express gratitude.
- You remember what the neighborhood was like when people talked.
- You need to pay it forward.
- You need something to do besides what you been doing.
- You want your food to taste as good as Gordon Ramsey’s.
- You don’t have a farmers’ market near you.
- You can’t get into the local CSA – It filled up fast!
- You work too many hours and need some help in your garden.
- You have physical limitations, and a garden and could use some help.
- You are a former hedge fund manager with a lot of time on your hands now.
- Your kids need to get moving.
- You really need a new set of friends.
- You know it’s the end of the world as we know it, and you want to feel fine.
- You want to quit talking the talk and start walking the walk.
- You want to simplify your life.
- You find no joy in fragging any more.
- You are an exceedingly cheap bastard, and want to save even more cash.
- You are sick of living on Top Ramen.
- Yes we can!
- Si, se puede!
- Chop wood, carry water.
- You’ve been saving seeds, but have no place to plant them.
- You want to surprise your hard working single mom with regular homegrown fruit and vegetables.
- You are unutterably bored, filled with ennui, and about to jump.
- Om, nom, nom, nom.
- You want to live more like the rest of the world.
- You want the suburban wasteland to become juicier.
- You can’t afford the gas to get to the market, and your veggie ride isn’t road ready yet.
- The bodega in your neighborhood doesn’t carry anything but candy, cigarettes, and booze.
- Guerilla gardening just isn’t giving you the thrill it used to…sigh.
- The force is strong with you, little one.
- You are actually serious about this “reliance on foreign oil” thing you keep going on about.
- Better jam.
- Better pie.
- Better chutney.
- Fresh eggs! Like still chicken butt warm fresh.
- You really need to step away from the computer.
- You actually do have a vitamin D deficiency from lack of sunshine.
- You’re afraid of the veg your freegan roommate brings home.
- You’ve never actually tasted a fresh vegetable, ditto fruit.
- You decided you didn’t like vegetables when you were 6, you stuck to your guns but you’re a big girl/boy now.
- You are down with the peak oil hypothesis, and want to stop freaking the f$ck out.
- You want to find like minded people and be useful.
- You’ve got a hankerin’ fer something really dirty.
- Your grandmother, who has been dead for 8 years keeps coming back to you in dreams – She reminds you there is an elephant in the root cellar. You want to sleep more soundly.
- You really, really like potlucks.
- You want to grow enough extra to donate to the homeless shelter.
- You take the very long view.
- Your houseplants are telling you to get out and make new friends.
- You’ll be damned if your gonna spend five dollars for a sack of potatoes !
- You think that you are surrounded by ugliness, and you’re right.
- You will simply die if you don’t have a St. Germaine cocktail and the godforsaken town you live in has no reputable supplier of elderflower liqueur. You are therefore, desperate enough to make your own.
- You walk softly but carry a giant gourd.
- You have a lot of stuff, but you feel empty.
- Your country has been embargoed by the rest of the world and you are hungry.
- You want to live the good life, not that one! This one!
- You want to make it easier to cook at home.
- You really want to slow down but don’t know how.
- You want to see this, not this when you go outside.
- The spirit of true community has filled your heart and you want to fill your days differently.
- One word – zucchini.
Join us at hyperlocavore and find or start a yardsharing group in your neighborhood. You don’t have to have a yard to share or a green thumb – This is a learning community.
* OK I admit there are a few repeats. I said the same thing a few different ways… Use the comment to add your own!