Got Yard? Wanna share?
Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England and that means that we have a vibrancy and energy that is unmatched, but it also means that we don’t have acres upon acres of land on which to frolic, do cartwheels or grow crops. So folks have begun asking about yard-sharing as a potential solution for the numerous gardeners who can’t seem to find a place to hang their trowel. Not only is this a great idea, but some local problem-solvers have come up with a nifty online tool to make yard-sharing easy. Their website, called My City Gardens, matches people who want to garden with people with a yard that they want gardened. Genius, right?
Here’s how it works:
1. You sign up and identify what you are looking for. For example, maybe to grow some vegetables in a plot in your neighborhood and share them with the owner of the yard. Or you could offer your yard space to someone if they mow your lawn or tend your flowers once a week. You could even do a seasonal trade: let someone garden in your yard in exchange for shoveling help in the winter. (Remember that if you are a renter, you should check with the property owner before offering up the yard.)
2. Then you look at the other listings and see if someone matches with what you want and contact them via the site.
3. The rest is your story.
(imagine bushels of perfect urban crops, lifelong friendships, butterflies everywhere, etc. etc.)
As always, if you are growing food in urban soils, be sure you familiarize yourselves with safe soil practices. Find them on Page 6 of the ABC’s of Urban Ag Guide.
But wait! There is more. Some legal stuff we need to tell you:
1) the website is provided for informational purposes and the City, by providing the information, is not endorsing the organization; 2) the website is not monitored by the City; and 3) upon request, the providing of this information is available to all similarly situated organizations pursuant to the City’s written policy; 4) neither the web addresses nor the sites have been reviewed for content or accuracy.
If you know of other yard-sharing websites, let us know about them in the comments or by emailing email@example.com and we will add them to this post.
Or if you have used a yard-sharing website, feel free to share your story in the comments here or on the Somerville Loves Urban Gardening page on Facebook.