The Luxembourg-based Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux, representing three million European allotment gardeners since 1926, describes the socio-cultural and economic functions of allotment gardens as offering an improved quality of life, an enjoyable and profitable hobby, relaxation, and contact with nature. For children, gardens offer places to play and to learn about nature, while for the unemployed, they offer a feeling of doing something useful as well as low-cost food. For the elderly and disabled, gardens offer an opportunity to meet people, to share in activity with like-minded people, and to experience activities like planting and harvesting. W
City farms are usually community-run projects in urban areas, which involve people interacting and working with animals and plants. They aim to improve community relationships and offer an awareness of agriculture and farming to people who live in built-up areas.
They vary in size from small plots on housing estates to larger farms that occupy a number of acres. It is estimated that more than three million people visit city farms each year and around half a million people work on them as volunteers. Although some city farms have paid employees, most rely heavily on volunteer labour, and some are run by volunteers alone. Others operate as partnerships with local authorities. W
Community gardens provide fresh produce and plants as well as satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment. They are publicly functioning in terms of ownership, access, and management, as well as typically owned in trust by local governments or not for profit associations. W / Community gardens
Community-supported agriculture (CSA; sometimes known as community-shared agriculture) is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme. Often, CSAs also include herbs, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat, in addition to conventional produce offerings. In theory a CSA can provide any product to its members, although the majority of CSA operations tend to provide produce, fruits, and various edibles. Some CSA programs also include cut flowers and various ornamental plants as part of their weekly pickup arrangement. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs. While some CSAs include small community deliveries, other CSAs expand to large neighborhoods and beyond, centering with a farmer's market type setup where members can pickup their shares and establish an open forum for other topics that members may be interested in discussing. The farmer's market type CSA usually leads to a more dynamic community stemming from this pickup location. W / Community Supported Agriculture
A community-supported fishery (CSF) is an alternative business model for selling fresh, locally sourced seafood. CSF programs, modeled after increasingly popular community-supported agriculture programs, offer members weekly shares of fresh seafood for a pre-paid membership fee. The first CSF program was started in Port Clyde, Maine, in 2007, and similar CSF programs have since been started across the United States and in Europe. Community supported fisheries aim to promote a positive relationship between fishermen, consumers, and the ocean by providing high-quality, locally caught seafood to members. CSF programs began as a method to help marine ecosystems recover from the effects of overfishing while maintaining a thriving fishing community. W
A food cooperative or food co-op is a food distribution outlet organized as a cooperative. Food cooperatives are usually consumers' cooperatives where the decisions regarding the production and distribution of its food is chosen by its members. Food cooperatives follow the 7 Cooperative Principles and typically offer natural foods. Since decisions about how to run a cooperative are not made by outside shareholders, cooperatives often exhibit a higher degree of social responsibility than their corporate analogues. W
Garden sharing is a local food and urban farming arrangement where a landowner allows a gardener access to land, typically a front or back yard, in order to grow food. This may be an informal, one-to-one relationship, but numerous Web-based projects exist to facilitate matchmaking. In some cases, garden sharing projects are launched as a way to shorten community garden waiting lists that are common in many cities. W / Yardsharing
Gleaning or Food rescue
Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of a welfare system. W
Food rescue, also called food recovery, is the practice of safely retrieving edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and distributing it to those in need. Organisations that encourage food recovery, food rescue, sharing, gleaning and similar waste-avoidance schemes come under the umbrella of food banks, food pantries or soup kitchens. W
Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property. It encompasses a diverse range of people and motivations, ranging from gardeners who spill over their legal boundaries to gardeners with political influences who seek to provoke change by using guerrilla gardening as a form of protest or direct action. This practice has implications for land rights and land reform; aiming to promote re-consideration of land ownership in order to assign a new purpose or reclaim land that is perceived to be in neglect or misused. W / Guerrilla gardening
Organise food events
- Celebratory feasts such as harvest festivals or just social gatherings centred around a meal: a potluck, bring and share food, or a potlatch, see United States#Free stuff
- Free Compost Give Away Day
- Solar Cookout, for example Sustainable NE Seattle's Second Annual Solar Cookout!
School-Community Kitchens Concept Paper, Center for Ecoliteracy
A seed library is an institution that lends or shares seed. It is distinguished from a seedbank in that the main purpose is not to store or hold germplasm or seeds against possible destruction, but to disseminate them to the public which preserves the shared plant varieties through propagation and further sharing of seed. Seed libraries usually maintain their collections through donations from members, but may also operate as pure charity operations intent on serving gardeners and farmers. A common attribute of many seed libraries is to preserve agricultural biodiversity by focusing on rare, local, and heirloom seed varieties. W
Seed swaps can be arranged online or by mail, especially when participants are spread out geographically. Some events are organized as part of an educational effort, where visitors are taught gardening and growing skills and how to preserve an area's cultural heritage and biodiversity. W
Seedy Sunday or Seedy Saturday is a catchphrase used for seed swap events that bring the public together with seed savers, to maintain and develop the open pollinated and heritage crop cultivars that are a resource in a community. In some communities the event is a gardening show or may feature local chefs using the heritage plants and seeds. The titles Seedy Saturday and Seedy Sunday are dedicated to the public domain by the event founder Sharon Rempel..
The heart of a Seedy Sunday or Seedy Saturday event is the swapping and sale of seeds or other propagation material for public-domain plant cultivars that that have been preserved or developed by individuals or families. These may not require high-input agriculture, and are variously described as landraces, folk varieties, farmer varieties and heritage seed. Sharing information about the social, cultural and culinary aspects of the seed is an important part of heritage seed saving around the world. Providing education about techniques for seed-saving, small-scale agriculture and horticulture, and about local, national and international laws that affect public-domain crop plants can also be an important part of the event. W
Urban forest garden or Food Forest
see separate article: Food forests