The Urban Gardens. A new social network

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or YouTube are four of the most used social networks in Spain in 2014. However, little by little a “new” social network is emerging: urban gardens.

Van Gogh’s White Garden

I’m not talking about games that we can find on any web page or anything, but; I am talking about the fact that in recent years the number of people who have dared to buy a hoe and lower their backs to grow their own vegetables has grown.

Let’s see how this «new» social network that is orchards works

Is it really a “new” social network?

A social network is a social structure made up of people, organizations or entities that are connected to each other by one or more types of relationships such as: friendship, kinship, economic relationships…

With the appearance of the Internet, the words “social network” have become more important due to their ability to globalize the world. However, for many years, the orchards in the towns were places where, in addition to taking out food for day to day, they were points where people interacted.

Since ancient times, agriculture has not only been important for food production, it has also had social importance. Painting is a clear example, from Egyptian engravings to South American murals from 1920, passing through the best painters. Europeans, we can see reflected that orchards can be a connection point for people.

Mural by Raul Moleiro –

So since always, orchards have been the great social network in each place. Who has not heard the expression “I take you to the garden”.

Let’s go back to 2014..

We are going to raise a little what we have this year in Spain, quickly:

  • Internet is a tool used every day by the majority of Spaniards
  • Unemployment rate around 25%
  • Increase in farmland abandonment since 2011
  • Increased awareness of organic products and importance of the environment

Putting these four values ​​together, the increase in urban gardens should not sound strange. It is becoming more and more common to see urban gardens in cities or communities such as the Madrid Community Gardens Network or the Shared Gardens social network.

What is Shared Gardens?

As we can read on their website:

Shared Gardens puts people who want to farm in contact with landowners.

Shared Gardens is the social network for lovers of organic gardens.

Therefore, it is a social network that puts people who have land that they do not use in contact with people who want to cultivate, paying the former with what they obtain.

Their website is very simple and you can register as a gardener or land owner. At the time I am writing this article, Shared Gardens has 3442 users, among them there are 220 owners and 687 gardeners. The rest of the people are simply registered waiting for a land and receiving information from the community in the meantime.

Once registered, you can search their map for the land they have and who is working on it.

Shared Gardens social network map

The coordinator of this idea Santi Cuerda promoted not only the use of orchards in the city, they also want to promote the use of peri-urban land. These orchards solve the problem of overcrowding of gardeners in small orchards and offer surfaces for more than 20 people.

What other aspects must be taken into account?

Something that we have to keep in mind is that many of us may not have the necessary knowledge to start our garden. Some of us are lucky enough to have older people (oh, those grandmothers who help so much) but if we put in Googlestart a garden” we get a total of 988,000 results!

The Shared Gardens page has a space with tips and help for people who really want to start in agriculture. Hence the success of another type of social network such as YouTube on Agrohuerto TV or pages like ours

As we began to see a few weeks ago in the article 4 good mobile applications to start with our organic garden, organic gardens can have their space in this technological age. In turn, this article wants to be a small tribute to what orchards have meant for a long time: an area of ​​communication and learning about oneself and its nature. What we can find in a social network, but with a real FarmVille.

We hope that initiatives such as Shared Gardens continue to take shape. If you know of any other similar project, comment on it in the forum. I leave you a Chinese proverb to close.

If you want to be happy for an hour, get drunk. If you want to be happy one day, kill a pig. If you want to be happy for a week, take a trip. If you want to be happy for a year, get married. If you want to be happy all your life, grow a garden.

See you in the orchard!

Related posts

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Botón volver arriba