A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance and building stronger communities.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What makes the “Sharing Gardens” Unique?

A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance while building stronger communities.

We've been watching the dramatic weather world-wide: floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves and record snows! Every continent that grows food is experiencing some kind of significant crop-failure this summer; pests, weather and “super-weeds” are all taking their toll. It seems more important than ever to be helping people learn the basic skill of growing food while building community ties amongst neighbors.

Here in Monroe and Alpine, Oregon we are developing a model that is helping people learn about gardening, grow their own food and address the needs of local food-security. It by-passes “business as usual” in that it generates a bountiful surplus of organic fruits and vegetables, feeding far more people than it takes to run it and no money ever changes hands. We call it a “Sharing Garden”. What makes these "Sharing Gardens" unique is that, instead of many separate plots that are rented by individuals, these gardens are one large plot, shared by all. All materials and labor are donated. The food we grow is shared amongst those who have contributed in some way as well as others who are in need in our community. All surplus is donated to our local food-bank and other charities. No one is ever charged money for the food that is grown. This model is easily replicated anywhere there are vacant lots and people with enough gardening experience to oversee the project and does not require a large input of money to make it work. It can also be adapted to many different scales of gardening, from a few families who live and garden on the same block to a multi-acre production farm. “Sharing Gardens” help keep materials out of burn-piles and the land-fill through re-using, re-purposing and encouraging people to share their surplus.

To view the Peak Moment video interview about our project: The “Sharing Gardens” - Giving and Receiving
Our blog covers gardening tips, ideas for starting your own “sharing garden” and updates about the “Sharing Gardens” of Alpine and Monroe, OR – http://thesharinggardens.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post, very interesting points and I have enjoyed immeasurably. Lots of thanks! The Tree Center