Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

I didn't buy my city home with the express intent of gardening for survival. I bought it because it was a great deal, in fair shape with wonderful features, 3 bedrooms, and a good school district. At most I thought I'd put in a few tomatoes plants ect. and roses, lots and lots of roses. So my shady mini postage sized lot didn't factor in at all.

That was until my first 3 garden seasons with abundant harvests.

Which prompted my self teaching of food preservation.

Which lead me to gardening outside the box/season to cold frames.

All the while neighbor's trees grew producing their own bounty of shade. Unrelentless shade. Shade that I have no power to halt.


Looking for any unique anti shade stopping methods that urban gardeners can claim as T &T ?



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You didn't say if the growing trees cross over property lines at all. I'm talking about being able to stand on your property line, look straight up, and see branches crossing. If this is the case, and if you haven't already, I would try talking to your neighbor and asking them if they would mind if you trimmed their trees back. If they are not receptive or friendly about it, I would check with your local zoning officials. I know where we live that a neighbor has the right to trim (with or without permission) trees that cross property lines.

Carrie Cox said:
I know where we live that a neighbor has the right to trim (with or without permission) trees that cross property lines.

3 or 4 years ago I spent $250 on a professional tree trimmer. Little effect on shade. Did help with decreasing the amount of dead or broken branches that fall on my garage come heavy snows. The tree man actually wrote a quick note explaining to my neighbor that the tree has internal rotting @ it's core. It's shaped like a huge broccoli bunch instead of a normal Maple. So when a branch naps off it's usually a good 12 inches in diameter.
His reply is always the same - I'll let the insurance company handle it. Meanwhile I garden in the dark.
My friend in New Orleans has used mirrors (like wall mirrors) to move light around her garden through reflection. She got the idea watching some movie where the puck character used a tray to bounce light into some dark cavern.
(I don't know what the movie was called.)
The movie is "Legend" and I never expected it to yield gardening tips! Excellent!!!
I'll have to be on the look out for mirrors both @ the thirft stores & when I go curb shopping.
About eight years ago the building behind my garden was sided in white which helped.

I have been toying with the idea of laying foil down between plants. Crazy I know, but I'm fighting shade.

Gardening in the city is a challenge in the winter, which is partly why I moved just outside the city, for more land that I can control. However my problem now is my very own trees. Since the sun has dropped so low in the sky, almost my entire property is blocked by the sun. 


I guess we all just have to search for more shade tolerant crops. 

 Look into vertical gardening. If you have one wall that receives sunlight you can do a hanging garden. Check out "Gutter Gardening", for shallow plants only, like lettuces. You can also join a "Pea Patch Garden" in your neighborhood. It's a great way to connect and learn form the locals and grow a garden family. Look into joining an organic cooperative farm in your area. 

To protect yourself about that rotten Maple tree, send a certified letter to your neighbor. Include all information you received from the tree trimmer.  This is legal notice and send a copy to your insurance provider. This makes the tree owner liable for all damage including loss of life. Maple trees are known for rotting out and falling over.


Good suggestions thank you. 

I do garden vertical we are growing apple trees among other things.

I've looked into yard sharing but without any takers. 

This is what I've come up with so far in the way of mirrors 



I'll discuss the concept of sending a certified letter with my insurance agent who handles my homeowners policy.

This neighbor & I share a driveway his home is less than 20' from mine. 


~~ pelenaka ~~

 Hello again Pelenaka,

About 20ish years ago I realized that not everything was going to "Go my Way" (I'm an Aries Woman) and instead of trying to do the "Tug of War" with situations, I learned, at times, it was best to "Let go of the Rope". When I did this the weight of the situation was lifted from my shoulders, the emotions and pressure I was under were now released. I had unemotional space in my brain, I relaxed and logical, rational ideas were allowed to enter my life.

You have a shady yard. The only true way to tap into the necessary "Ancient Right To Natural Light"  is to cut all the trees (Yours and your neighbors) and that's not going to happen.


Grow a garden and a garden crop that "requires shade" to function. Go for the cash crop that provides you financial benefits so you can take your "profit" and purchase the other foods you require to feed your family.  Edible Mushrooms.

Like any growing operation (Garden or farm), you first must prepare your growing area and that takes connection, education and some investment, you already have the #1 ingredient...Shade.

There are a few members here that are in the process of starting or fully growing operational mushroom gardens.

Sheri Lee Pierce  Northampton, MA   http://www.homegrown.org/profile/SheriLeePierce

Sheri and her husband are growing shiitake, oyster, reishi, maitake, chicken-of-the-woods and Lion's Mane mushrooms.


Rachel has recently started setting up a King Stropharia mushroom garden in her Vallejo, California garden.




King Stropharia mushroom garden





You will also have a mushroom foraging club in your area. Many people go out to collect and bring back the fungus to spore in their prepared gardens. It's also a wonderful way to learn about your local edible and non-edible mushrooms so you can protect your children.

By the grace of God I had Black Morel mushrooms ($99.00 per pound) growing in my garden pots 2 years ago then they migrated to the yard soil but because of the intensive gardening I've done this year I don't think they will re-spore.....but heck...you never know!




Thanks for the encouragement as I've been thinking about becoming an 'Room Farmer. 

The actual growing & harvesting isn't what is giving me hesitation, but the selling is.

People are leery of homegrown mushrooms.


There was a mushroom workshop not to long ago in the Finger Lakes region  that we had planned to attend but hubby injured his knee. 

So were you able to take advantage of those Black Morel Mushrooms both as an edible delight on your menu and as a source of barter or cash ?


Hello again, I'm not rich and hitting the "Gold Pot" of having my very own morel mushrooms to eat was so overwhelming, we indulged ourselves! I have frozen up a batch to use later this winter, possibly to use during the holidays.  I can understand how and why people can become leery of  mushrooms. The "workshop" is a wonderful place to start your learning process and I do know that once you establish your garden and growing situation you'll feel confident to connect with restaurants and markets. You might like to check out:



They may be connected with other people in your area who are already marketing their backyard bounty and can lend support to you.



Grow on Ginny, Grow on.





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