Alpine, Oregon has a “sharing garden.” Unlike our own community garden located at the Curry Preserve Nugent Road entrance, a sharing garden is not broken down into individual plots but shared in common by a group of gardeners. The sharing garden in Alpine has an interesting mission statement:
1. To provide the inspiration, guidance, and expertise needed to ensure a bountiful supply of locally and organically grown fresh produce, herbs and fruits to those in need.
2. To provide meaningful activities related to organic food production, storage and distribution by offering hands-on workshops designed to empower young people and persons of all ages.
3. To promote an awareness and practice of recycling and re-using a wide array of materials that can be utilized in gardens and food storage and to coordinate donations of such for use in the project.
4. To establish a stable network of experienced farmers, gardeners and food-storage experts in our local communities and neighborhoods and encourage their participation.
5. To identify and utilize local resources of surplus fruits and nuts for gleaning, winter storage and distribution.
6. To create community-scale “canneries” for storing surplus food for winter months.
7. To support and expand upon existing food banks.
8. To create a local and sustainable seed bank.
9. To document each stage of this project and create a manual to assist other groups and communities.
10. To create an interactive website , on-line message board, skills-bank and info-sharing blog to distribute information about the project.
Albany, California has a garden share program, a website where people with garden plots are matched with gardeners who have no place to garden.
Transition Town Hackney, England has a project to map and harvest existing fruit trees in Hackney. Also to fund and plant new orchards in Hackney’s community spaces.
Transition Nelson, New Zealand created an Open Orchards Group which:
1. established six demonstration open orchards in 2008 and planted trees on 12 sites in Nelson and Motueka in 2009.
2. developed a Google map of all the existing fruit trees in public places.
3. working with Nelson City Council and Tasman City Council to identify suitable sites for future Orchards
4. begun gathering information and knowledge on fruit tree varieties.
5. begun developing a “what to plant where” guide for Nelson and Tasman.
6. put together a list of the region’s existing low-maintenance, high-productivity fruit and nut trees.
7. investigating running “community jam sessions”to share knowledge on utilizing excess fruit and vegetables.
Lots of good ideas. It’s a matter of thinking where we should get our food. Should we get our food from California or Mexico? Why not grow most of our food right here?