So what exactly is a decentralized urban farming effort?

Picture this — you’ve got a nice yard that you could grow a garden but don’t really know a thing about it or have the time, but you relish in the idea of fresh fruits and salads and herbs and all that wonderful gourmet cooking and healthy habits it would bring.  Well, the solution is out there and it’s growing! Imagine a service that will come design it, plant it, maintain it and even take care of harvesting your vegetables.  Then they’ll leave a basket of fresh produce at your front door and portion out the rest to spread upon the neighbors who also have a garden and vice versa.   Sounds too good to be true!
See how one group in the San Francisco area is making local produce and sustainabilty their mission. Visit:   MyFarmSF.com
When we think of big cities, we think hustle and bustle, we don’t think of people spending their time leisurely outside doing hard labor.  But that’s a changing trend, especially when there are people you can hire who are ready and willing to help you plant a vegetable garden in spaces both large and small.
It’s a new-found profession that is starting to pop up in many places as more and more people want to have a vegetable garden but don’t have the expertise or time to do it.  You gotta love our country, where there’s a demand, the supply just naturally shows up and a new profession is  created in an instant. Here’s a little inspiration from the San Fransisco area.  The Freelance Farmers will help you do it all!  They will help you design, plant and even maintain your garden for you…imagine being able to go outside and pick out what you want in your salad every night. 
I’ve always thought about having a garden someday once I have a more permanent living space. But I really do not have a green thumb, in fact I’m all knuckles when it comes to gardening.  So I have always dreamed about hiring someone to help me do it.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see this popping up more and more.
There are also people calling themselves Garden Coaches these days too all around the country. We truly are rich with resources, may our vegetable gardens be plentiful.
Sure a great lawn is a nice status symbol, but is it really necessary and perhaps even a tad bit wasteful? The earth is filled with wonderful ways to provide abundance for us. What if — what if we turned all our front yards into vegetable gardens? 
When most people think growing vegetables, we think traditional rows of farm land or a big backyard overgrown with plants, but there’s a new way to garden with artful intention making a front yard stand out and provide nourishement for a home owner and the neighbors too.
With a book entitled “Edible Estates: Attack On the Front Lawn” architect and artist Fritz Haeg began a series of prototype gardens to create this reality throughout the country in 2005. It’s a project that’s making waves, or shall I say, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries….  
There are gardens in Salina, Kansas, Lakewood, California, Maplewood, New Jersey, London, England, and more…Check out Haeg’s site EdibleEstates.org  and you can choose the various projects from the drop down menu and see photos across the top of the screen to give you an idea of what it’s all about.  
There’s a new breed of gardeners and they’re taking their towns by storm!

From Long Beach to London, San Fransisco to Switzerland, Italy to Ireland…all across the globe individuals are sneaking out dusk to dawn and taking gardening matters into their very own hands.  They’re called “guerrilla gardeners” and they’ve got incredible passion, amazing green thumbs and a bit of a daring side.  Sure, many of us have heard of guerrilla filmmaking (having an MFA in the subject, it’s something I’m well aware of), where a passionate filmmaker hits the streets with nothing more than a camera and an actor to get that “money” shot at any cost without all the red tape, but guerrilla gardening?  Really?  Who would have thought?  I had never heard of such a thing, but I can assure you now it’s out there, it’s real and it might be happening in front of your very own eyes and you’ll never suspect a thing.

Whether it’s a tiny corner inset of a cracked sidewalk filled with stale dirt, a median dividing a major road, or an entire vacant lot, there are spaces in every place on earth that tend to get ignored by their respective cities.  With recent trends in gardening growing by leaps and bounds, savvy, expert and courageous gardeners are at work transforming these neglected but fruitful pieces of land – on the run and undercover.  Going to great lengths to beautify the earth and create some sustainable living, at any cost.

From all out troops of friends texting their whereabouts trying to work diligently undercover, to cajoling police officers who eventually decide it’s a great thing even though it’s city property and no one seems to have a permit, to the one-person army going for an evening stroll with a few flower bulbs in their pocket — the creativity is astonishing! You must read some of these stories!

So the next time you’re out walking around or going for a drive, see how many little empty, neglected or rundown pieces of potentially prime gardening land you can find. Then imagine what a few adventurous people with a bit of gardening know-how might be able to transform that land into…uh, well, ya know, not that I’m saying to go do anything of course :-) www.guerrillagardening.org
If you are new to the subject or already familiar with the concept, the National Gardening Association has a great online Primer to help you get started. It’s a nice little overview about the subject with basic how-to knowledge of things to keep in mind.
The photos in the Planning section demonstrate that planting edibles can be done with style, taste and naturally lots of flavors. Visit: Garden.org, there is a wealth of additional knowledge and articles about the subject.
A non-profit organization in Maine, called Kitchen Gardeners International is helping pave the way and give guidance for people to take gardening into their own hands. A way to create wonderful produce that goes from the garden to great recipes in your kitchen.
Addtionally, with grants & partnership programs, they are helping to donate and fund the creation of local gardens around the world. It’s amazing sometimes to think about how people creatively can make a difference in the lives of others.
Check it out at the link above.
Growing vegetables is not just for farmers or backyard gardeners anymore, high profile places are stepping up to the plate and helping to make statements about creating sustainability by growing local produce.
The City Hall in Baltimore is giving the grounds that normally contain annuals a big sustainable makeover. The harvests will be donated to a local program called Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen which feeds several hundred people on a daily basis. Now seriously, when you stop to think about it, how cool is that! Most major cities have places that help feed the hungry of all faiths that rely on food donations of various kinds. Imagine the benefits of getting fresh local produce donated, both from an organizational funding standpoint as well as the health benefits that come from eating fresh, ripe, healthy vegetables.
There are efforts around the country dedicated to helping get gardens planted in high profile places. Remember, everything starts with one idea from one person, so keep your eyes open as you drive around town with your gardening glasses on. One suggestion to your local city or town is sometimes enough to get the ball rolling (or shall I say shovels digging), volunteers stepping forward, and seeds planted. There are a few other city government building gardens around the country already in the planning stages so be sure to keep your eyes out, it’s a trend I am sure will continue.