Backyard Sharing

THE AMERICAN LAWN NEEDS TO DIE

From the Dallas Observer, 9.30.15 Link to article and comments. My first inkling that America’s lawn obsession might not be terribly healthy came around 1995. We’d just moved into a new house in Far North Dallas, and 10- or 11-year-old me decided that the next-door neighbor’s lawn — green and smooth and as flawless as a golf-course fairway with manicured grass to cushion falls — was the perfect spot for football. The neighbor, a hard-nosed high school track coach, promptly ran us off and upbraided my father for letting me trespass. This struck me as backward. What good was such cushiony grass if not for play? At the time, I chalked this up to my neighbor being an uptight jerk, an assessment I stand by. But that explanation is incomplete in that it overlooks the bigger picture: Lawns are awful. This conclusion is admittedly self-serving. Two years ago, in one…

Backyard Sharing

Portland Ecofilm Festival & Supreme Growers – Happy Summer from Farm My Yard!

Summer 2014 Update Hi there, I hope you’re having a great Summer.  I’ve been having fun this Summer – hearing of successful urban farming activities around the country and enjoying growing my first broccoli! Here is a small smattering of what’s come through the pipeline, recently. I recently heard from Supreme Growers – and they’ve sent me some of their products to try and given us a sweet review on their website. They write: “Supreme Growers recently discovered the Farm My Yard movement and we love the initiative to help motivate and inspire communities in Portland and around the world to be urban gardeners. Supreme Growers is a new company created to help new and veteran gardeners grow the healthiest plants they can without using harsh chemicals that damage the environment. We are on a mission to help educate everyone on the benefits of growing your own plants and to prove that gardening is accessible to everyone. We…

Farm My Yard

iFarm: a great farm land resource for Oregonians wishing to farm

iFarm! This is a great way to find land in Oregon available to farm! It’s called the iFarm program! Enjoy! How iFarm Works To contact any of the landowners or farmers on iFarm, you must first complete a questionnaire describing your opportunity (for landholders) or your goals, experience, and plans (for landseekers). Once completed and approved, this information is entered into our online database (online and pdf questionnaires are below) and you may then contact any of our iFarm participants. To search our database, click on the link above, then select the type of iFarm participant you are looking for and click either “View Listings” or “Advanced Search Options.” “View Listings” displays every listing in the category that you’ve checked and “Advanced Search Options ” allows you to narrow your search by region. Listings are displayed in order from oldest first to newest at the end. To contact a participant,…

Backyard Sharing

A wide variety of experiences with farm my yard

I’ve realized all along that each Farm My Yard connection is going to be different. Some will be fantastic, some will not be. Here is one from SE Portlandia that was so-so.  But I think it’s important to note some of the outcomes so we all become more aware of the types of situations that can arise.  Albert, Farm My Yard “I didn’t take pictures of the garden. I just hired last year’s “share cropper”, today, to plant for me, so I can take pictures of the new garden, but it isn’t part of the original deal of her share cropping with me. I don’t feel comfortable about a radio interview for a number of reasons. But, mostly, because it didn’t quite work out perfectly. The woman who decided to share crop with me had one major goal, to plant a corn crop. But, it turned out there wasn’t enough…

Backyard Sharing

1st Farm My Yard Newsletter – Winter 2014

Winter 2014 – Farm My Yard! CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS Help us make a difference in our community. Hi there, Welcome to the first Farm My Yard newsletter. You signed up a while back and if you no longer want to receive these – please unsubscribe below. That said – welcome aboard! I started Farm My Yard a couple years ago – by building a website, starting a FB fan page and also a Twitter account. That has led to some press, and a few people who wanted to see Farm My Yard take off. We had a sign design contest! I held a sign-making party for my birthday in a community garden I helped start which was a blast. And, are you hearing a pattern here? The pattern is the word “I”. And, I realize that I can’t do this alone and so I am reaching out to You! If…

Farm My Yard

The Urban Farm

An article for The Urban Farm: “Farm My Yard (FMY) is an idea I had a few years ago as a way to push the urban farming revolution along. My thought was that yard signs are great ways that we share information with one another – and that a sign that encouraged connection around farming each other’s yards would be the best way to connect those with land with those who seek yards to farm. Originally, I thought the sign would create just a few type of relationships – those kinds that are in the agreements found on the FMY website. But, of course, once the process began, many different types of relationships happened and there are probably more to come. A relationship between an urban farmer and landowner could take the form of a partnership or any number of situations where the water, labor, produce, and variables can be…

Backyard Sharing

Fall in Portland – Urban Farming Update

Well, it’s almost Fall – just a few more days till Summer’s over. And I thought I’d share some of my recent thinking about Farm My Yard. I started this effort a few years ago – with the hopes that thousands of signs would pop up in yards all over Portland and then the world. I figured it would be an amazing way to increase the amount of food being grown in urban settings and have a profound effect on the world. So far, the effect has been somewhat minimal – and I’m kicking myself that I haven’t put more energy into the project.  I know somewhere down deep that if 100 signs were to be displayed, that would lead to some profound change. I imagine a world where we’re all spending more time growing our own food and helping each other learn how to get back to the garden…

Backyard Sharing

Farming Brenda’s Yard

Brenda’s Yard Thanks to Justin of InTownAg for his work in getting this yard going in SE Portland! Wow, has this been a fun process.  It’s been a few years now and Brenda’s daughter is now selling produce from the yard at the local farmers’ market and I think wants to become a nutritionist 🙂  The yard has produced well – and the family is eating from the garden.