Tag Archives: Shared Earth

Why You Should Plant a Front Yard Veggie Garden

Front yard vegetable garden beds

These front-yard garden beds, separated with rows of stepping stones, look neat and tidy. All photos are of front yard gardens designed by Love & Carrots.

If you’ve wanted to start growing food but don’t have much space, the answer may be right in front of you — your front yard, that is. Front yard vegetable gardens are a growing trend. Nevertheless, some people don’t even consider growing food in the front yard because they think it might look messy or lead to neighbor complaints. Those folks should think again, says Natalie Carver, horticultural director for Love and Carrots, a company that designs, installs, and maintains urban vegetable gardens for homeowners throughout the Washington D.C. metro area.

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Believe it or not, it may be illegal to grow your own food

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll in their garden

A Florida couple was faced a $50-per-day fine for a front yard vegetable garden.

The city and town names may change, but the stories are strikingly similar. Every year, new tales of urban gardeners who are cited for “illegally” growing food in their yards or on vacant lots bubble up. Find out how some home gardeners are fighting these charges, and what you can do if your front yard garden get cited.

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We’re Digging These Techie Garden Tools

FarmBot garden

FarmBot bring precision agriculture to the backyard garden.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or are just getting started, technology is trying to improve on age-old techniques of growing food. We like to think Sustainable America is part of this trend with Shared Earth, a website that helps match up would-be gardeners with people who have land to share. You can use it to find a plot to garden — or someone to garden on your land. Ready to plant? Check out these tech solutions to common gardening challenges.

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How to Start a Shared Garden

Urban garden in full bloom

A Cincinnati couple made an arrangement with a friend to garden in an abandoned lot at his artist studio. Photo courtesy Jen Wendeln.

Are you planning to have a garden this year? Maybe a better question is, are you able to have a garden this year? Interest in growing food has exploded in the last decade, but getting your own plot of tomatoes or cukes going may seem impossible if you lack enough outdoor space or don’t know how to garden. Learn how millions of people are solving this problem through garden sharing.

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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. Many people who want to garden don’t have enough space or time to devote to it. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—10 million acres–to grow 43.5 million tons of food. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, now we can!

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Art for a Cause: Help us grow an innovative local food platform

2:03 PM (detail) by Dustin Yellin

2:03 PM (detail) by Dustin Yellin

This month, we’re holding an art auction to support Sustainable America and our implementation of the Shared Earth land-matching website. Browse and bid on more than a dozen works from cutting-edge contemporary artists.

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Reviving Neighborhoods with Aquaponics

Aquaponics

Photo Credit: OrganicNation via Compfight cc

At Sustainable America, we are focused on ways to double or triple the amount of local food produced on urban farms and in what are known as “controlled environment agriculture” efforts, which include hydroponics, aquaponics and, more recently, aeroponics. We see lots of opportunities to develop the market for CEA systems in the thousands of abandoned factory buildings, warehouses, shopping malls and school buildings across the country.

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Desperately Seeking (Black-Eyed) Susan

Gardeners plant a garden on land they found through Shared Earth

Gardeners plant a garden on land they found through Shared Earth.

Did you know there are 10 million acres of front and back yards in America—enough to produce 43.5 million tons of food—but only 35 percent of U.S. households grew food in 2012? Growing where you are gives people the power to eat healthier and revitalize their communities, but many gardeners lack the land they need, and those with the land don’t always know what to do with 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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