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Sharecropping is go! Seriously - I've often thought of this sort of set up while driving through suburbs where the yards are large - or even medium-sized. When I first started to panic about oil running out, I figured that what you describe happening in CA would have to be what's going to happen as a matter of course everywhere.

The alternative movement has been doing it for years in parts of New England. Western Mass, which is where I lived for 30 years, was home to communes in the 60's and though the comms themselves died off, many of the people kept doing what they had been doing - composting, recycling, and organic Victory farming. But it never really took off except around artsy-fartsy Amherst/Northhampton, where they would pay people to turn their backyards into the vegetable gardens they themselves didn't have time to care for.

I wonder what's been happening since I left....

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