Sustainable America Blog

Introducing the New Shared Earth

Shared Earth, connects people who have land with people who want to garden or farm

The interest in food gardening is growing like, well, a weed. According to a survey by the Garden Writers Association, 58 percent of American consumers were planning to grow edible plants this year, up from 35 percent in a 2013 survey.

Even more people want to garden but say they don’t have enough space or time to devote to it, according to the survey. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—4.5 million acres–to grow 43.5 million tons of food.

We see these trends as an opportunity to spur more local food production. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, we can.

This week, we’re excited to unveil a new and improved Shared Earth. This website, which Sustainable America acquired last year, is designed to connect people who want to garden or farm with people who have land or tools to share. Here’s a short video about how it works:

Shared Earth is a simple idea that taps into a growing desire to share resources, food and knowledge with others in our communities. Here are some features of the new site, which is completely free to use.

Log on and find potential matches in your area in less than a minute:

Shared Earth homepage

View a map of gardeners and potential garden locations in your area:

Shared Earth map results

Get notified when someone new joins who might be a good match for you:

Shared Earth notifications

Send private messages to other members. Create arrangements that work for you:

Shared Earth Messages

On Shared Earth, you can list other things to share, like tools and seeds. Shared Earth is also set up to accommodate larger projects like hydroponic gardeners looking for warehouse space and landowners looking for professional farmers to tend their land. Need someone to take care of your backyard chicken flock? You might find the right fit on Shared Earth.

It’s not too late to get involved in gardening this year. New members are signing up every day. Join them today — and get growing!

Sustainable America supports initiatives like Shared Earth that encourage alternative farming and local food production. Local farming increases access to fresh, healthy food and reduces the energy used to transport it.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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