Innovation That Matters

More peer-to-peer garden sharing

Property & Construction

A full 40 percent of North Americans do not have their own yard space; those who do, meanwhile, often leave it underused. Aiming to match the haves with the have-nots anywhere there’s a similar inequity, Sharing Backyards partners with local community organizations to create land-sharing programs in diverse regions around the world. Similar in many ways to UK-based Landshare, Sharing Backyards is a project of LifeCycles, a Canadian nonprofit dedicated to cultivating awareness and initiating action around food, health and urban sustainability in the Greater Victoria, B.C., community. To help maximize land use in communities far and wide, Sharing Backyards actively seeks out local partners and gives them administration of their own, local Sharing Backyards Program. That includes not just promotional materials but also a forum for interaction with other local partners. Consumers, then, begin by browsing the free site’s list of programs already in existence. To find or share land in their area, they can scan an interactive local map for current listings and use the program’s internal messaging system to make a connection. Sharing Backyards is working on a downloadable contract to spell out agreements between landowners and gardeners. With programs up and running in more than 30 communities in North America and New Zealand, Sharing Backyards is seeking volunteers as well as advertisers and sponsors. Gardening-related businesses around the globe: who will be first in your community to stake this highly targeted claim…? (Related: Online gardening service sends seeds when it’s time to plantGardens for rent by the season, with vegetables pre-plantedFive new business ideas for urban gardening.)



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