Can I search the listings? Who is already looking for space or gardener?

Yes!  We have a searchable database where you can peruse gardeners and gardens and post info about yourself and your gardening needs.

The earlier you sign up, the more likely we'll be able to find you a match by the spring. We already have gardens and gardeners looking for a match in Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and Medford. Don't see your city? Sign up and be the first one.

Do you have a sample yard sharing agreement?

Yes!  Here is a sample template to get you started.  We recommend that you use this document as a starting point in discussions with a yard sharing partner.  Feel free to use whatever parts of the document that make sense for you.  Also, feel free to email us with your completed agreement to help us improve our template.

Do I have to make my address public?

Nope, while creating a listing, you can just write in a nearby intersection instead of providing in your exact address. For example, you may write"Massachusetts Ave and Prospect St" instead of "680 Massachusetts Ave".

The interactive map mostly shows folks looking for gardening space. Where are all the people who want to share their yards?

It is true that so far, there are more gardeners than landholders in our system. BUT there is more gardening space out there than is visible on our map. We've observed the people with land who sign up to yard share tend to stay 'hidden' in our database (i.e. don't have a public profile), but reach out to gardeners with public profiles. So gardeners, create a post, even if you don't see available land nearby.

What makes a good yardsharing arrangement?

First off, we recommend that the gardener lives near the land that he or she is arranging to work with. Proximity simply makes it easier to take care of the space.

Secondly, copious COMMUNICATION between the yard owner and the gardener is key. It is very important that both parties are on the same page about all aspects of the yardsharing arrangement. Talk everything through before breaking soil and scheduling several meetings throughout the growing season just to check in.

Is it safe to invite someone I met online to garden on my property (or vise versa)?

Meeting people online for yardsharing holds the same risk as meeting someone through Meetup or online dating sites. Take the same precautions while meeting folks for yardsharing that you would meeting anyone via the internet. Exchange a few emails, check each other out via social networking sites and if it makes you feel more comfortable, meet in public until you get to know one another better.

If you don’t have a good feeling about someone, simply don’t garden with him or her.

I heard something about dirt being contaminated by lead? What’s up with that?

Sadly, most of the soil in major cities are contaminated by lead due to the previous use of lead paint and leaded gasoline (yuk!). Soil within 3-5 ft. of old houses is particularly suspect.  

You can get soil tested at the UMass soil testing facility for about $10. 

No need to panic if your soil is contaminated. Just build a raised garden bed.  We can refer you to some awesome gardeners in the Boston area to help you get started.  Contact us for more info.

Who covers expenses?

Parties have to work that out for themselves. Make sure to talk about it so no misunderstandings arise!

What should I do if my yard isn’t being maintained to my standards?

Hopefully both parties agree ahead of time on how the space will be maintained and this scenario is avoided all together!

But if this does happen: Step one is to sit down with the gardener and talk about it. If that fails and the situation is a deal breaker for the landholder, you can always terminate the yardsharing agreement with the current gardener and find another gardener in the network to finish the season.

When can the gardener be on the landholder’s property?

That is up to the landholder. It is important to agree ahead of time when and how often the gardener can come over to tend the garden.

Could the landholder terminate the yardshare before crops have been harvested?

Yes, they could. Gardeners have to respect that landholders have the right to decide who is on their property. That being said, as long as both parties are getting along, the odds of early termination are low.