The Nature of Garden Giving

| 12/28/2010 9:05:57 AM

Working in gardenOver the last few years, the idea of urban gardening has caught on among many city-slicking organic-lovers. And while the idea of having a rooftop garden or an edible window arrangement is nice, not all longing to dig in the dirt are able to in their tiny apartments. Likewise, not all who have a larger plot of land know what to do with it. Enter Urban Garden Share, a website that allows gardeners seeking a place to grow food and people with extra gardening space to find each other.

Urban Garden Share began a year ago in Seattle when Amy Pennington, creator of GoGo Green Garden, brainstormed the idea with co-creators Gannon Curran, Jesse Dawson and Colin Saunders. Now, hundreds of wannabe gardeners and needy gardens are registered on the site.

And registering is simple — not to mention free! All you have to do is input your level of gardening skills, your wants, needs and location, and upload an optional photo of yourself or your garden. From large community gardens to small 5-by-5-foot plots of land, there is something for everyone. And it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced green thumb or if you’re brand new to the world of gardening. Then, all you have to do is search through the listings to find a match that’s right for you.

 Lorraine is one example of an Urban Garden Share success. After posting a listing on the site last year, she finally heard back from one interested gardener looking for a small space to do his gardening. Now she has a well-tended garden and is left to spend time with her daughter.

Want to participate? Urban Garden Share currently operates is these cities:
Whatcom Co, Wash.
Bellingham, Wash.
Louisville, Ky.
Atlanta, Ga.
Boise, Idaho 

Photo by iStockphoto/Chris Price 

Bobbi Hancock
1/8/2011 7:58:38 AM

I have started a rooftop organic vegetable herb garden at Valdosta State University (Blazer Gardens). I am a senior sociology student and have worked in the plant nursery business for several years. I also grow herbs as a hobby for medicinal/culinary purposes. The purpose of Blazer Gardens is to educate students about organic gardening and to teach them about genetically altered foods. This project will also offer cooking classes with the first fruits of our labor (summer 2011). Students from the area of Biological Horticulture will also be assisting with the garden as a service/research project starting this semester. Plans are also in the works for providing food to hungry students through our college food pantry, Blazer Pantry. Students from mass media, biology, environmental science, anthropology, public administration, education and sociology and Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.) are involved in this project.

Fran Tracy
1/1/2011 6:27:19 PM

I have plenty of space for a large garden and the soil is excellent. I have been adding organic matter for a number of years. I am seeking some people to participat in an urban garden near Pelzer (6 miles, Belton (6miles), and Ware Place (3.5 miles), S.C.. If anyone is interested in participating, contact me at :

Blaine Coleman
12/31/2010 1:30:40 PM

Urban gardening is a great idea, BUT inner city soils and soil in older neighborhoods are invariably poisioned with lead. If lead paint makes a house uninhabitable then why would anyone go to great effort to gather it from the soil into the food they eat? Ideally, about a foot or more existing (almost certainly poisioned) soil should be removed and replaced with fresh soil before planting any food plants; to not do that is to invite yourself and family/friends to partake in a feast of brain damage, mental retardation and death! Please get the word out because urban gardening is certainly the way to go!

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