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Yard Sharing – in Portland and Everywhere

YardSharing Yard Sharing.

Have you heard of this? It has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Gardeners who want more space to garden team up with people who have the yard space (but lack the time or skills to garden). The gardener provides the labor, the homeowner provides the land (and usually ends up helping too). They agree to split the crops.

The result? Both sides end up with baskets and baskets of edibles! It is a great idea. Everyone eats more local, wasted space is used efficiently and total strangers become garden buddies.

Yard sharing is especially popular in the Pacific Northwest. There are several groups in Seattle and Portland that help organize this concept and more groups are appearing all across the US.

Portland is one such group. Their mission is “to provide resources to our community that enable the creation of gardens with the sole purpose of generating fresh local food while cultivating healthy growing relationships in our neighborhoods.”

But you don’t have to join a group to make yard sharing happen for yourself. I have enjoyed reading about the yard share experiences of the Shibaguyz. When they were looking for more land to grow food on, they just posted an ad on a community blog. Within a few hours, they had over 30 offers! They picked four garden plots that fit their needs and their urban yard sharing adventure began.

It really is a simple idea that reaps such huge benefits. Many yard sharers are even growing rows to feed the hungry. Something to think about next spring…

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.


  • gardenmentor says:

    Several of my clients in Seattle and surrounding areas are getting on board with this — some with land to share, others looking for land to use. It’s a fantastic idea! Thanks for puttin’ it out there for all! 🙂

  • Sure Robin (GardenMentor). I know several people here in Los Angeles that have been doing it informally, but now more and more organizations are springing up to help people connect. It is really gaining momentum now.

    Next spring, ALL the cool kids will be doing it! :~)


  • Troy says:

    This is so funny that you would post this right now. I have just finished making arrangements for a garden plot next year. I live in a small townhouse with just a very small yard, but I have received permission to grow a garden in my neighborhood in someone elses yard, so next year I will have a much larger garden. Here I thought I was being innovative and this has been going on all over…

  • Well you ARE being innovative Troy! You did it all by yourself! Way to go!

    Please keep us posted on how it goes next year.

    Many years ago, I borrowed my next door neighbors back yard to do sweet pea trials. I brought seed packets back from England and did not have enough space in my own yard to grow them all. The elderly woman that lived next door let my husband and I build trellis’s in her backyard. I ran a hose over the fence so that we did not use any of her water. I went over and picked her a huge bouquet every single day. She was in heaven! And I had buckets of flowers to enjoy and share.

    Back then, there was no fancy name for what I did. But it worked! I love that people are doing it with edibles now!


  • Teresa says:

    I think that is so great!!

    What we want are people who love to weed to help weed in exchange for some of our veggies. 😉

  • Now that would be a nice exchange Teresa!


  • Liz says:

    Hey folks – is a free site, anyone from anywhere can start up a yard share!

  • Liz,

    Thank you so much for the link! That is a great site and so helpful. I love the videos too!


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  • Corbin says:

    I think so this post is very interesting and usefull for all us. We must follow this every time.

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