Landsharing is a wonderful way to meet your neighbors, make new friends, and put your land to use. It’s good for your community and good for the planet. Posting your space on Alfrea is easy. The key to writing a great advertisement is to think like a potential renter. Here are 5 tips to get you started.
1. Take Pictures
Head out to your backyard – or your front yard, or your farm – and take some great pictures. Try to capture your land’s potential. If you’ve inherited raised beds, or the garden is already tilled, take photos from several angles to give gardeners a sense of where they’ll be growing. If the space is unbroken, try to give a sense of how big it is and where it sits in relation to the house or any other buildings. If you have a shed, barn, chicken coop, or other structures your renter will be using, take pictures of those as well.
2. Measure The Space
Get out your tape measure and figure out how big your space is. Measure the length and the depth, then calculate the square footage. Whether your land share will host a garden, a flock of chickens, or a litter of pigs, your potential renter will want to evaluate whether the size is conducive to their goals and their budget.
3. Provide Lots of Detail About the Location
Give your potential garden sharing partner a good understanding of where the land is located. Is the plot you’re advertising in an urban or rural area? Is it in the front yard, the backyard, or on a farm? Is the area private, or will the garden be visible to neighbors out walking their dog, or to those driving by? Is there room to let the chickens range free to forage? Does the garden get lots of sun, or part-shade? Is it in a high-crime area? In suburbia? When you think you’ve finished the list, ask yourself: Is there anything else the renter should know about the location?
4. Set Clear Expectations
If you’re straightforward about what you’re expecting from your landshare, you’ll attract the right partners and forestall many problems. Think in practical terms about what you’ve got in mind, and be honest with potential renters about what you expect from them – and from yourself. Consider:
- What uses will you allow on the land: gardening, livestock, or both?
- When will your partner be allowed to visit and use the land? All day, every day? Weekends or evenings only?
- What supplies will you provide, if any? Who brings the tools? Who pays for water?
- What may (or may not) be grown in the garden? What type of livestock may be raised?
- Who gets to eat the produce, eggs, and meat? Can they be sold?
- What should the garden look like? What happens if the garden is neglected?
- Will you be involved in gardening or caring for livestock, or will the work fall solely to your tenant?
- Can your tenant bring friends?
- Who will care for the garden when your tenant is away?
- How long will the garden-sharing arrangement last? How much notice must be given before it ends?
- If the tenant has invested money in soil, plants or structures, must they – or may they – be removed?
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it will get you thinking about the kinds of things you should consider when you’re posting your land for sharing.
5. Consider The Legal Issues
Janelle Orsi, a sharing lawyer and director of the Sustainable Economies Law Centre, says many homeowners worry about liability when starting a landshare. She recommends making a list of the ways someone might be injured on your property, and taking steps to prevent accidents. Some states may have a recreational use statute that protects land owners from liability, though Orsi warns that those laws may not apply to garden sharing. If you plan to ask your tenant to sign a liability waiver, be sure to include that in your listing. We hope this helps you start thinking about the information you’ll need to include in your post advertising your space. Have suggestions? Share them in the comments!