Rachel Botsman, author of 'What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption,' explores social land sharing services.

A program in the UK called Landshare and similar schemes in the United States called YardShare, SharedEarth, and Urban Gardenshare connect gardenless would-be growers with unused spare land, as well as people with extra time or skills who want to help. The land posted varies from spare acreage on farms to unused allotments to urban wasteland to small back gardens. Liz McLellan, founder of YardShare, explains, “A lot of us would love to grow food, but we lack one of the more important things we need to do that. Some of us lack space, physical strength, time, or tools or even just have a ‘brown thumb,’ so it makes sense for us to group together.” The matches share the fruits and vegetables grown but often the unexpected benefits include friendships and community.

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