PROJECT UPDATE: February 22, 2012 - We're pulling this project up again and hope to have it out by the end of March 2012. Please contribute ideas below in the comments section.

I’m in the process of writing a workbook for yard sharing groups and I could use your input!
The success of any garden share depends entirely on the expectations set by the entire group at the outset of the relationship between the members of the group. Respect of each other’s needs and hopes for the project should be a given.

It’s important to keep the workbook a flexible tool. I am assuming groups will have different needs regarding the formality of their agreements. My question to you is what sort of things would you need to work through in an agreement with your yardsharing members before you felt comfortable forming a working group?

* What needs to be in your agreement?
* What would be a deal breaker?
* What questions would you have for the garden or property owner?
* What questions would you have for the gardeners in the group?
* What questions would you want to work through regarding finances for your group?
* What is important to formalize?
* What is important to keep loose?

These agreements will depend only on what each group sorts through. How can we help make these groups enjoyable and workable for all the people involved?

Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts!

The plan is to charge a small fee for the workbook to raise money for keeping the site going.

Tags: 2012, foot, gardens, hyperlocal, hyperlocavore, lasagna, locavore, notill, organic, peakoil, More…permaculture, square, sustainable, victory, yardshare, yardsharing

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or maybe your buck fifty! ha! thanks these are all helpful specific comments!

It really will be a 'blank work book'
I think keeping up an almanac rather than linking to the best resources for getting frost dates for instance is how I would handle that aspect. I don't have the resources! And the are the weather experts...and have reems of historical data which is important...

What other questions or work sheets should I develop to help people organize for their own groups?

I think the workbook is about coming up with all the right quesitons, and not so much the answers for any particular group.

This is great stuff! THANK YOU!
Wow, more like 10. :D

I can't respond to all this at the moment due to other obligations but thank you for putting so much time and thought into the idea! Hopefully things on my side will chill out soon!
Great! Will I receive any comments from this forum, now that I've commented? Like you, Liz, I don't have time to work on this right now (or even read all of KittyMama's great comments!), but I think guidelines of this type are the key to a successful resource sharing effort. **Denise**
If anyone wants to be notified in any conversation on the site, you can subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Agreed Denise, I think we can really help people by developing a good set of questions and forms to work through.

One of the things that I would need in the agreement would be hours that people would be allowed in the garden. That would ensure the privacy of the family. Deal breaker here would be drug use as we are in a school zone and have two day care centers across the street! This would be legally an issue. Question for the garden or property owner would have to include insurance issues. Gardeners would need to sign a waver because I don't think my insurance would cover gardeners. Finances should be kept to a minimum and might be discussed at a monthly potluck/brunch meeting that would help educate and keep issues brought to the forefront. What kind of formalization? If people are buying a garden share then they get a fair share work or no work... if it is based on time worked then it would have to reflect that. Keeping a garden group loose is important because the tense do not play well together.
All sounds good Margaret, and all of those sorts of questions are going into the work book. I have to stay away of course from legal advice I am not qualified to give, as well as insisting others be more vigilant or letigious than they care to. There is a level of risk in all that we do. It would be up to the property owners and the gardeners in each group to really come to their own agreements.

But yes all kinds of questions for the groups to discuss are being worked into the book. The book is really about out lining a process, or various types of options a single group might come to.

It is great to hear what others are and are not comfortable with. I would not be at all happy with chemicals or cigarettes in mine, or castor beans the cats could eat... all sorts of things.

The book is mostly about suggestions and frames for discussions among each group. The specifics of those arrangements - the rules per se - are most definitely not part of the book. Who am I to make any rules?

Actually - maybe we could supply a boiler plate waiver - any lawyers in the house?

Keep the ideas coming - This is great!
As a wordsmith, the term "workbook" makes me think of things like checklists, worksheets, and idea maps. Those are rare in conventional gardening books, but tremendously useful for brainstorming and for organizing group activities. I've done enough teaching to have experience in creating copy-and-use pages of various sorts; I have some in my archives.

So, what are some copy-and-use pages that would be useful for yardshare groups? Some possibilities include:

* Blank timeline (could be filled in with planting dates, flowering dates, harvest dates, milestones in group activities, etc.)
* Blank recipe page
* Blank plant report page (useful for taking notes while researching which cultivars to choose)
* Blank pest report page (useful for noting pest features and control options)
* Several styles of blank idea map (spidergram, fishbone, etc.) for brainstorming
* Checklist of common gardening tasks/responsibilities
* Checklist of common gardening tools/supplies
* Checklist of possible yardshare features for discussion
* Record sheet for plants (what is planted where and when, etc.)
* Record sheet for people (who joined when and what they are doing, etc.)
* Record sheet for potlucks (when, where, who, and announced dishes)
* Year-end record sheet (what thrived, what died, what cultivars tasted best, etc.)
* Tipsheet of basic info about yardsharing
* Fill-in-the-blank flyer for announcing yardshare events
* Condensed glossary page for handouts

By the way, are you planning this as a hardcopy or ebook? Workbooks are among the types that are really well suited for ebooks because then people can just print off as many copies of a page as they need, and it doesn't matter if somebody spills fish emulsion on the printouts.
Thank you so much! Many of these items are indeed already in there, but many are not! So THANK YOU!
I have some worksheet designs that I made earlier, left over from a project for an online school. Some of these could probably be adapted to the yardshare project. The most relevant are:

Analysis Diagram: Pros & Cons
Book Report: Nonfiction (might be useful for deciding which ones to read or buy)
Cluster Diagram (brainstorming topic/subtopics)
Cycle Diagram (brainstorming process)
Lab Report (adapt for testing gardening techniques or products)
Plant Report: Cultivation
Plant Report: Applications
Problem-Solving Worksheet
Venn Diagram (overlapping circles, for brainstorming or planning)

These are in MS Word .doc format. If you'd like to see them, give me an email address and I can send you the files.
That would be awesome - send them over to hyperlocavore @ gmail. (I am sorry I missed this message earlier.) THank you so much for the response!
I don't understand the affiliate program, but if one is planting heirloom and open pollinated plants then you are working toward what I like to call Dwelling. If you are planting historically local non invasive plants you are also working toward restoring a region to what should be there. I think if I has some land ( I am a urban sustainable yarden) I would put aside a wild area and also an area for road side picnics to encourage those townies to come and see for themselves. Right now I have little placards going into the yard explaining what is happening and what I am trying to do as a passive educational attempt.

I'm not quite sure what you are getting at here, but happy to listen!




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