It would help if we had a system here like the United Kingdom's "allotment system" that food policy writer and Ethicurean host Bonnie Azab Powell describes in a fascinating article in the Washington Post food section yesterday.
As in other European countries with a feudal history, the system came about as a pragmatic way to help the working poor feed themselves once the public land on which they had formerly relied fell into private ownership....
Since the 1950s, councils must provide such space to any group of six or more residents that petitions for it, regardless of income. Most allotment sites are owned or leased by the local authorities and rented to allotment holders for a nominal annual fee, which can be as low as £8, or about $12.
The typical allotment size is about 2,700 square feet, including a shed, and some are double that, according to the National Allotment Gardens Trust. (In comparison, the new White House garden plot is 1,100 square feet; the average size around urban Washington is 48 square feet.)