A Sharing Garden that Grows Community


We taped garden coordinators Llyn Peabody and Chris Burns in the middle of their Alpine Sharing Garden. The premise underlying their unique community garden is the notion of sharing “because it feels good to share,” Chris notes.

Rather than multiple small plots for the gardeners, there’s one large plot planted with edible foods. Everybody who shares in the garden by donating materials or time gets to share in the harvest. The surplus goes to the local food bank.

There are efficiencies in gardening this way (like coordinated pest management, reduced watering, land use). But I think it’s the spirit of it that people delight in, too. The garden is attracting visitors and volunteers just as readily as honeybees and nesting birds.

Feed one another. An old concept in new clothes — building community around sharing!

Chris and Llyn want to propagate sharing gardens elsewhere. I hope they find fertile ground wherever they turn, from school yards to vacant urban lots. Contact them at www.AlpineGarden@blogspot.com.

We taped their conversation in the midday. That evening we shared in a convivial potluck at the park among friends in their greater gardening/farming community. Yum! My favorite — a potluck prepared by people who love healthy fresh tasty food.

The next morning before departing, Llyn and Chris showed us how to harvest kale and cucumber. We visited their one-year-old larger Monroe Sharing Garden, received garden bounty and a loaf of Chris’s divine whole-grain bread, and shared warm good-bye hugs.

Indeed Llyn and Chris are “family”, and I’m so glad we got to meet in person for the first time. Sharing love, like sharing garden-fresh produce, is infectious!

Watch Sharing Gardens — Giving and Receiving (episode 193).


  1. Patricia Parcells says:

    Janaia and Robyn,

    When I was perusing your schedule I noted that you’d be in Corvallis, our home, on Sept. 22. That happens to be world car-free day, and there is a lot planned in town to celebrate that day. Christine and I plan to honor it, for certain.

    I wondered if we might have an off-list conversation about what’s planned and whether you two can fit into it as well. I see that you’ll be in Eugene both the day before and the day after, so going car-free would mean moving yourselves to and from Corvallis on those days. We could rustle up extra bikes or arrange pedicab service if you are game for this.


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