Touch the Soil News #727 (feature photo courtesy of Fleet Farming)
One of the drawbacks to putting in a food garden is all the time it takes to plant, tend and harvest. Now folks in Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida can have a relatively inexpensive option.
Call Fleet Farming and get on the list to have a garden put in your yard for $500. For the $500 (and your payment of the water) you get to keep a portion of the harvest. The harvest potentially produces far more than you can eat. Fleet Farming has already had over 300 lawns donated in their first two years – only a portion of which have been actually turned into food gardens.
Labor for planting, tending and harvesting is done by what is called a “swarm”. A swarm is a group of volunteers on bikes that will stop at 3 to 5 gardens and perform all the necessary work. Volunteers receive “free” education on how to grow food and receive a 50 percent discount on produce that is not taken by the homeowner and intended for commercial sale.
Fleet Farming also has another plan – the installation of raised garden beds with all the materials necessary to start growing food. Once installed, the owner tends to the garden.
In addition to growing food, Fleet Farms has a fruit-gleaning service. Homeowners simply register their tree with Fleet Farming and then send notification when the fruit is starting to ripen. Once the fruit is harvested and sold, Fleet Farming will send the owner a tax-deductible receipt in the amount sold. Fruit tree owners benefit by not having the fruits fall on the ground and attracting rodents and pests.
Fleet Farming is a non-profit organization that seeks to develop a more socially just food chain in America’s food deserts. http://fleetfarming.org/