rethinking how land is used

Landshare - Connecting Growers to People with Land to Share - is a community movement that rethinks how land is owned and used.

Seems to me the future of cities is inevitably more people living more closely together. So the challenge is how to share the land and ensure there are still green spaces for food and the nurturing quality of green natural spaces.

One way is for workplaces to allocate green space and make land available to workers to grow stuff in their breaks and after work. A good way of enhancing staff morale, communication and sharing. Preferable, I think, to the current usual boring lawn and shrubs look. Schools increasingly have gardens, so it is a matter of extending the idea throughout the community.

One workplace that did this is the New Internationalist office in Oxford, England. A tarmac drive was transformed into a bee and bird-friendly border, incorporating herbs and vegetables. When the weather permits the space is used for meetings, formal and informal.

For people who are lucky enough to have a backyard, the Landshare philosophy and website offers the opportunity to share it with others. I know lots of people who have downsized and moved to apartments because they could no longer manage the garden. Landshare offers another alternative. Here is an example of an 'ad' on the website:

Hi - we live in Shepperton and have a very long back garden. It is laid mainly to lawn with some shrubs and then three quarters of the way down there is a pond. Beyond the pond, there is a patch of land in front of two sheds where we'd love someone to care for and hopefully grow some fruit / veg we could share. We have a baby and although we like to potter in the garden, we don't really have the skills or knowledge on how to grow vegetables. There is nothing there at the moment so you would have a blank canvas to work with! We also have most basic garden tools which you would be able to use plus some storage space. I look forward to hearing from someone who is interested. The area is really suited to one person to work on, not a group.

Hmm ... food / land for thought ...?

Comments

  1. Yea, somekind of community garden... not necessarily around the neighbourhood, at workplace is even better. To embark on this program, there must at least a person very committed to see it through and maintain some level of enthusiasm among members....

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  2. We have similar schemes here and the allotment movement is very popular. Sorry to hear about the terrible floods in your country.

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  3. Great food for thought Catmint! I have come across people who rent land to garden. Moving forward, sharing is a more appropriate way for the community ;-)

    Happy New Year!

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  4. Not only does it make better use of the land, it builds community and reduces isolation.

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  5. It's encouraging to hear about the many new ways of getting 'green' into the city. Amazing what a difference plants and gardens can make in people's lives.

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  6. It's good to see talk of using city space for gardening is global!

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  7. Dear cyberfriends, thank you for your comments. I am so pleased you also think the idea behind Landshare is positive. Such alternative ideas and movements help me to keep me optmistic in the face of the awful things that happen in the world.
    cheers, happy new 2011, catmint

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  8. I love the Landshare project, and was about to enlist when I suddenly got offered an allotment plot. Community gardening schemes where people garden in one another's gardens, helping one another out and sharing the produce, is another great thing gaining momentum. The more things that help people connect with growing food and using land more effectively the better!

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  9. Catmint, thank you for visiting my blog. I thoroughly enjoyed your posting today as it is very appropriate for me. I will be moving into a loft in the city and will be working the grounds around the building. I hope you get someone who will enjoy your property.

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  10. Dear Plantalicious, thanks for your comment, it's great to see gardening as part of a shared owned community project. cheers, catmint

    Hi Tufa Girl, that is interesting about working the grounds around your city loft. I wonder if it is guerilla gardening? (I'll email you with the question in case you don't get to read this).

    Cheers, catmint

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  11. Great idea. Unfortunatly most people don't want to put in the effort it would take to get something like this up and going. It would make a big difference though!

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