We’re all for community resource sharing and product-service-systems here at Worldchanging, and yesterday a new land sharing website was launched called SharedEarth.com . SharedEarth is a free service in the Craigslist mold with a dash of online dating; a globally geared tool for connecting landowners and gardeners in both rural and urban environments (and is similar to Seattle’s local Urban Garden Share, which we wrote about last year in this article on urban farming).
SharedEarth.com was created by Adam Dell after personally experiencing a successful relationship between himself as a landowner and a gardener whom he met on the internet. After enjoying fresh fruit and vegetables from his new garden, he envisioned an online matching site to link land with gardeners in the community, and SharedEarth.com was born.
Alex Pasternack, an editor at Motherboard.tv, recently interviewed Dell to discuss SharedEarth.com’s launch, his views on the environment, and the power of the internet to bring people together. Here is an excerpt:
Who do you think will use SharedEarth? I think it scales all the way up to “I’m gonna be a farmer,” and all the way down to “I have a fire escape on my building in New York, I’m growing some food and I can use some help.” And we’ve got a couple of gardening groups who have signed up already. We’d love to get some churches. The Catholic Church is the largest landowner in America. I’d love if churches, synagogues signed up, and said “We’ve got land, grow stuff! We’ll donate some of the produce to our food bank.” There are lots of iterations this can take.
How do you see a model like SharedEarth’s taking gardening and agriculture over the next decade? I think SharedEarth is something that can be big and meaningful in its impact. It could be a global thing. Just imagine if we had 10 million acres of producing farmland. That would produce a lot of oxygen and consume a lot of CO2, it would generate a lot of interesting stories and a lot of interesting community connections and a lot of time well spent cultivating the land.
SharedEarth.com seems like a great tool for connecting land owners and landless gardeners around the country. Even though the site is brand new, it advertises that it has already connected people to over 26 million square feet of shared land. With the growing popularity of resource sharing and urban farming, I’m sure that these numbers will grow as word spreads of this new service. What do you think? Is this something that you might use? Do you have land to share or gardening skills lying dormant?
What an excellent resource SharedEarth promises to be. The Internet, especially through a site such as SharedEarth, seems to be the way to open one's eyes to these kind of community "green thumb" activities - and particularly attract the younger generations, who are so obsessed with computers but less inclined to play in the dirt - unless/until swayed by resources like Shared Earth. The site can be tied to schools, who now are linking up to the Web for day-to-day education.
Urban agriculture a pathway to developing community resilience. This idea, which is very similar to yardsharing, is an important development in food production.
This is fantastic! The combination of technology, sustainability and such bright ideas is what we need to "change the world".
I have concerns that this is too much like sharecropping (see history) and a slippery slope toward serfdom.