What’s it all about?
Garden Share aims to grow more fruit and vegetables locally, as well as growing community connections. It does this through matching land owners with landless growers. Bentham Environmentally Sustainable Town’s ‘Food Group’ coordinates the project.
How does the Garden Share Work?
Finding owners and growers
B.E.S.T. acts as a gardening ‘dateline’ service. We find garden owners and growers by advertising in the press, with posters and flyers, talks and through our website. We try to find owners who have gardens they cannot fully use, and growers who want to produce their own food, but have no land. Often the growers are waiting for an allotment on a long waiting list (and at the moment there are no allotments in High Bentham) and want to get growing asap.
The Garden Share coordinators then meet with all the garden owners and growers, and complete a short checklist. The idea is to get some basic information to be able to make as good an introduction as possible; one where all the needs and wishes of both sides match as well as possible.
Matching and growing
After the coordinators have matched suitable growers with owners, a meeting is arranged to introduce them to one another. At this point the owners and growers can look at the garden and talk it all through between themselves. They can decide whether they are a good match and should go ahead with everything.
If they decide to go ahead with garden sharing, then there is a short ‘contract’ that the coordinators will go through with both parties, to clarify what basic agreement exists between them.
The Garden Share is now agreed and B.E.S.T. withdraws. The sharing becomes a friendly arrangement between both parties. Any liability for accident or damage on the owner’s land lies with the owner of the land via their insurance.
What happens after the matching?
B.E.S.T. has no further involvement other than being willing to try to help resolve any misunderstandings that may arise. If the arrangement comes to an end, for whatever reason, B.E.S.T. will try to match new gardens or growers where possible. B.E.S.T. does not have insurance to cover the informal arrangement between the parties.
If you have an unused or partly unused garden and want to share it, or want to get your hands dirty growing vegetables, or just want to find out more, please contact either
Alison Easton or Anne Wilson
via the Contact Page. We look forward to hearing from you!