Farm My Yard: Connecting Urban Farmers with Land to Farm
By Albert Kaufman
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 blossomed 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 shared or weighted to one party or another. The end result is hopefully more urban farming, of course.
I had originally intended to avoid creating an app that would make available yards easier to find, figuring that a person walking down the street who sought a yard to farm would be enticed by the sign alone. Since then I’ve come around to the 21st century and an app is being developed which will make this process much simpler – especially useful for the farmer who would like to find multiple lots to farm near one another. Justin of Intownag.com has made use of this process and is farming nine plots which all lie near one another.
My hope is to see less grass and more tomatoes, carrots and onions! Less lawnmowers and more blueberry bushes! Someday, many of us will work together to harvest each other’s’ bounty rather than spend time driving to supermarkets for our vegetable needs. And on the way, I hope that Farm My Yard will play a role in spurring that development!