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Growing Together : Cooperative Gardening

Updated on February 25, 2011

growing together

Gardening is a great activity; it is healthy, fun and productive. You spend time outdoors enjoying the weather and, perhaps, most important, you are in direct contact with the earth, the soil from which all goodness comes.

Goodness that is if you grow organically and do not poison the soil and all the Life it contains. It is that Life that plays a major role in how the garden grows.

To grow plants that will produce flowers and fruit that burst with flavour and colour, the gardener needs to take an holistic approach to the work. This requires him or her to be aware of all the actors, from the smallest organisms in the soil, to the earthworms, bees, spiders and birds, all whom make a garden grow.

Gardening is a cooperative process, you may be the only human but you are far from alone.

If you want to garden but lack the space there are an increasing number of ways you can get the opportunity to interact with Nature and produce the flowers and foods you want.

Gardening is a wonderful way to turn strangers into neighbours; to make friends and develop a sense of community. When I was in Thunder Bay, Ontario, within a few days of starting the community garden, the other gardeners where saying hi and waving hello as we walked through the neighbourhood. Prior to the garden we simply walked by each other.

 If you lack space take a look for a community garden in your neighbourhood.

Community gardens vary in size, I have been part of a community garden with ten plots and one with 100 plots, and both were unique experiences with a few commonalities.

Yardsharing is just what the name implies, sharing a yard to garden. Some people have a large yard but are not planning, for a number of reasons, to garden in all of it and are willing to share space with other gardeners.

Two years ago, I found myself getting ready to move during gardening season. I did manage to set up a small garden in the new home but needed more, perhaps wanted is a better word. Anyway, an acquaintance wanted to garden and she was new to the experience so we agreed to share her yard. It worked out reasonable well but my time was stretched. The three gardens I was looking after was just too far apart to easily walk to and tend for each. However, overall the experience left me a believer in yard sharing, so if you want to garden look for a family member, friend or neighbour who might be willing to share space.

Gardening is a cooperative experience and you can grow with others as long as you have the will to garden you can find the way.

me in Thunder Bay community garden


Submit a Comment
  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, sharing adds value to the growing experience, thanks for dropping by.

  • chspublish profile image


    7 years ago from Ireland

    I agree that community gardening is the way to go. Here we call it allotment gardening. It's a lot of fun to have neighbours to 'talk plants' with. Good hub. Good growing.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you, Philadelphia Green is a fine example of what can be done when the will to do exists.

  • Sally's Trove profile image


    7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    I like how you write about cooperative gardening being something as intimate as sharing a neighbor's yard or something more broad-based like getting involved in a community garden. Either way, the benefits are wonderful.

    In the early 70s the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society launched urban community gardening in Philadelphia through a program called Philadelphia Green. I am proud to say that my family was among its early pioneers. The program is still in existence today, still paving (or digging) the way to urban neighborhood gardening.

    In those years, just as you say, we learned so much from each other as we came together through commonly shared goals. Gardeners are special, as is the experience of gardening together.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you growing things is indeed a passion and something we can all do.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    7 years ago from London, UK

    Alovely hub and only you could write it because I see the love for gardening right through it.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • TaxNerd profile image


    7 years ago

    Outstanding hub.


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