Serious Green: Where You Can't Grow, Adopt

So you might have cleared space on your balcony for a container garden, or even planted a little plot in your backyard. Still, you may not have the time, space, or expertise to branch out--say, with a peach tree, or an olive tree, or even a few pigs.

But if you want a farm harvest without the farm, consider adoption. At the Masumoto Family Farm near Fresno, California--at times a supplier to Blue Hill, Per Se, and Chez Panisse--Elberta peach trees are available for "adoption." Each winter, prospective owners apply to own a peach tree; the Masumotos take care of planting, pruning, and raising your baby. Then at midsummer harvest, adopters come out to the farm to pick the trees clean, carting home all the peaches they can carry.

At Nudo Italia, in Italy's Le Marche, customers can adopt an olive tree, a little more remotely--choose from one of seven groves, pick a tree, and Nudo will do the harvesting, oil pressing, and shipping for you. And Guardian writer Alex Renton blogs about adopting a pig from a Berwickshire, England, farm. He and his family visited their own pig "Spidey" for twelve months, learning about how the animals were raised before taking home the salami, bacon, and pancetta.

Have you ever considered adoptive ownership? Or do you know of any opportunities in your area?