Garden sharing or urban horticulture sharing is a local food and urban farming arrangement where a landowner allows a gardener access to land, typically a front or back yard, in order to grow food.

This may be an informal, one-to-one relationship, but numerous Web-based projects exist to facilitate matchmaking. In some cases, garden sharing projects are launched as a way to shorten community garden waiting lists that are common in many cities.[1][2]


Garden sharing arrangements take two main forms. The simplest is an agreement between two parties: one supplies the land, the other supplies the labour, and the proceeds are shared. In larger collaborations, groups, often neighbours, share garden spaces, labour and the harvest.[3]

The specifics addressed by a garden sharing agreement are potentially numerous, and the contract itself may be simple or exhaustive. Issues to be considered include terms of access, acceptable behavior, and who supplies what as far as gardening equipment and supplies. At one end of the scale, a verbal arrangement may be all that is expected.[4] However, garden sharing organisations often suggest a written agreement and supply sample contracts.[5][6][7] Organisers may also interview participants before suggesting a match.[8]

Garden sharing projects

The Web is frequently used as a platform for initiating garden sharing arrangements. Web sites connecting landowners and growers are generally free and non-commercial. Web sites are instituted by a variety of parties, including private individuals, government agencies, and non-profit groups.[citation needed]

North America

A number of local, regional and national programs exist across the U.S. and Canada, including:


In the UK, Landshare is a high-profile national garden sharing project in England, spearheaded by celebrity chef and TV personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in conjunction with public-service broadcaster Channel 4.[11] Growers, landowners and volunteers can, at no charge, register their interest in participating in a share in their area. There are over 40,000 members. Although this is a number that have registered since 2009 when the social enterprise was first publicized widely, since then its activity has decreased.[12][13] Scotland, has only one project, a charity called Edinburgh Garden Partners which has over 60 gardens throughout the city shared by volunteers. The charity aims to promote locally grown food and the skills of doing so with supporting older and disabled people who can no longer manage their garden.[citation needed]

In France, Prêter son jardin ("Garden lending") is a garden sharing web site started by a journalist in 2010.[14]


Garden sharing projects are also incorporated into larger sustainability schemes. Transition Town Totnes (Totnes, England)[15][16][17] and Transition Timaru (Timaru, NZ)[18] have instituted garden sharing projects as part of their Transition Towns efforts to prepare communities on a local level for the effects of climate change and peak oil.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Modern-day sharecropping Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2009
  2. ^ a b Garden-sharing program bears fruit The Star, July 10, 2009
  3. ^ Like an eager vine, urban garden sharing spreads its roots The Oregonian, June 04, 2009
  4. ^ "Growing Relations" Urban Garden Share, US
  5. ^ The Sharing Solution by Emily Doskow, Janelle Orsi pp. 259-262 (Nolo, 2009)
  6. ^ 'Sharecropper contract' binds landowner, gardener Archived 2012-06-03 at the Wayback Machine by Cathy Locke. Colorado Springs Gazette. June 1, 2009.
  7. ^ "Sample agreements: Pro forma templates" Archived 2010-03-29 at the Wayback Machine Landshare, UK
  8. ^ Grassroots garden sharing scheme blooms (The Bath Chronicle). May 27, 2009.
  9. ^ Saving the planet, one block, one small project at a time by Mary Rothschild. Seattle Times. August 10, 2009.
  10. ^ Urban Garden Share has listings for Seattle, Wa, Whatcom Co, Wa, Bellingham, Wa, Louisville, Ky, Atlanta, Ga, Boise, Id, Santa Cruz, Ca, and Sonoma County, Ca, as of 30 September 2014
  11. ^ Harrison, Linda. "Garden sharing: growing your own vegetables on someone else's patch". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  12. ^ Garden sharing scheme to fight credit crunch. (Lincolnshire Echo). March 21, 2009.
  13. ^ Landshare Archived 2009-07-25 at the Wayback Machine, in conjunction with public-service broadcaster Channel 4.
  14. ^ "Preter son Jardin". Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  15. ^ Transition Town Totnes Garden Share Project is part of the Transition Towns initiative in Totnes, Devon, England.
  16. ^ Transition: gearing up for the great power-down by Luke Leitch. TimesOnline (The Times). November 17, 2008.
  17. ^ Garden scheme to grow food (video) BBC News. Monday, 13 October 2008.
  18. ^ Berry, Michael (August 12, 2009). "Local food advocates seek Aoraki links". The Timaru Herald. Retrieved September 30, 2011.