The Garden-Share; A Thought
0 comment Monday, May 12, 2014 |
Reports from friends haven't been particularly good for this New Year; parents dying, friends in nursing homes due to abuse and neglect, others losing jobs, being diagnosed with illnesses, and so on. All in all the first few weeks have been rough for everyone. But there's bright points happening now, light at the end of the tunnel, and a little hope being spread on the way.
I have been receiving offers from far and wide by very charming people - most of whom I've never met - who are intrigued with my project for the garden, and they've been offering the donations of seeds, plants, cuttings, and time. I'm completely touched and overjoyed; individuals are stepping up where many charities can't be bothered, and that warms my heart. Perhaps there's a way to make this much more beneficial for others like myself - and indeed, after spelunking around various Transition Town directives, I've found a rather interesting idea, called Gardensharing.
Essentially, it's like this; a person who has a garden space but zero time/mobility to tend it contacts a gardening initiative in their community. This group then finds people who really want to garden, but have no space of their own (they live in an apartment or something like that, space is limited, and so on). The group matches people to their ambitions and certain plots, and then these surrogate gardeners work the land, growing fruit and veg and maybe cutting flowers on the borrowed land. In exchange, they tithe a quarter of their crops to the person who allows them to grow on their property, and thus the owner of the garden also benefits! This actually seems to be working quite well in the areas where it's being initated, with very few mishaps or arguments - mostly due to being able to gauge who is serious, who isn't, and it's also encouraging a feeling of community as the gardeners and land-holders tend to interact together.
What a great idea!
Now I imagine the biggest issue is getting past the English reserve and horror of having "strangers" on the property, but then that's down to the vetting service and experience. Most people involved in this sort of movement are doing so because they actually want to, not because they're casing a house to rob the owner or anything! I'm actually pleasantly surprised that the failure rate is very low in the projects I checked up on (indeed, by all reports, only two people in five programmes decided not to return to garden that year, but this was due more to the acquisition of an allotment than to issues between people).
It's something I've considered for this area if, of course, enough interest could be even drummed into people about it. And that appears to be the hard part round here. Still, it's something I'll keep in mind for future action.
For now, I dream of plants and trees and I'll be saving up my pennies for plans to get in motion in March. For now - I need to get working on my son's room, even if I do so with a tighter budget than I had wished for.