This post was written by Going Green DC contributing writer Alison Drucker.
What’s a city apartment dweller with a green thumb to do? Find a neighbor willing to share some yard space.
Sharing Backyards is a national project that connects people with unused yards with others in their communities looking for a place to cultivate something. It encourages urban gardeners to make the most of limited green space, gives people a connection to the land, and expands access to fresh, local food – while uniting neighbors and beautifying urban space.
The D.C. area is full of yard-sharing success stories. One of those is the partnership between Patricia, a Rockville resident with a double lot, and Rebecca, a first-time gardener inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to reevaluate her food sources.
Patricia posted her spare space on the D.C. Sharing Backyards Web site and swiftly – within 15 minutes – received an email connecting her to Rebecca.
eHarmony couldn’t have done a better job matching the two. Rebecca found a gardening mentor in Patricia, and each found a good friend. A few patches of squash and tomatoes later, Rebecca had a new source of produce, which she happily shared with Patricia all summer. They didn’t have a formal arrangement for sharing the veggies, though some yard-sharing duos choose to lay down specific terms for who gets what and who supplies the tools, seeds, and soil.
Interested in yard-sharing? Use this online map to find a potential partner. If you’re in search of land, try to find a place close by, since tending a garden may become part of your daily routine – when it isn’t your own yard, you can’t just wander outside in your bathrobe to pull some weeds.