What is Guerilla Gardening and What are Seed Bombs?

What is Guerilla Gardening and What are Seed Bombs

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You have heard about Guerilla gardening and seed bombs, but you don’t know exactly what it is? Don’t worry, we will give you an answer to this and many more questions you have related to guerilla gardening and seed bombs.

Guerrilla gardening denotes the act of gardening on soil and in an area where gardeners have no legal right to plant and grow plant species. It usually takes place in neglected places which no one takes care of and in private lands. Guerrilla gardening engages a variety of motivated individuals, from those gardeners who cross their legal boundaries to gardeners with political influence who seek to provoke change by using guerrilla gardening as a form of direct action or protest.

This practice has implications for land rights and land reform. It aims to promote a reconsideration of land ownership in order to give them a new purpose or to recover land that is perceived to have been misused or neglected.

Guerrilla yards are most often abandoned or systematically neglected by legal owners. Then guerrilla gardening ensues. Guerrilla gardeners often plant and grow plants on these lands, and often focus on food crops as well as aesthetic purposes such as flower growing. Sometimes guerrilla gardeners carry out such activities at night in relative secrecy, shining and cultivating a vegetable garden and flowerbed to make them more attractive and usable. Some guerrilla gardeners cultivate the land daily for publicity purposes, which can be considered as a form of activism.

A guerilla gardening history

In 1973, the term guerrilla gardens were first recorded by Liz Christy and her group Green Guerilla in the Bowery Houston area of ​​New York. They have turned a neglected private parcel into a garden, and although it is now protected by the city parks department, volunteers still care about the area.

There are also two famous guerrilla gardeners who were active before the term was coined, namely: Gerrard Winstanley (1649) of Digger in Surrey, England, and John Appleseed Chapman (1801) of Ohio, USA.

Guerrilla gardening takes place in many parts of the world. More than thirty countries have been documented, and evidence can be found on the Internet at numerous guerrilla gardening social networks and at the GuerrillaGardening.org community site.

There is also an International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day that takes place on the first of May each year. It is an international event where guerrilla gardeners in their neighborhoods grow sunflowers in public places that are thought to be neglected such as pits, roadside edges and flower beds. The movement was created in 2007 and was designed by guerrilla gardeners in Brussels and they proclaimed this day the Journée Internationale de la Guerilla Tournesol.

This day is advocated by guerrilla gardeners around the world, and in particular by the GuerrillaGardening organization. Since then, the number of participants has increased every year. Although sunflower sowing is limited to relatively temperate parts of the northern hemisphere at this time of year, this day is also marked in other parts of the world by planting plants that are seasonally appropriate.

Guerrilla gardening examples

Adam Purple’s Garden of Eden

Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

Since the mid-1970s, Adam Purple has created and maintained a circle-shaped garden, or ying-yang, in lower eastern Manhattan on abandoned land. In 1986, when the garden was erected in the city of New York, it occupied many parcels and reached a size of 160,000 square feet.

People’s Park, Berkeley

People's Park, Berkeley

People’s Park in Berkeley, California today is a public park that originated right out of a movement for guerrilla gardens in the community during the late 1960s. It took place on land owned by the University of California. The university bought the land, and the houses located on the ground were demolished and the land remained in a dilapidated state. Eventually, people started turning unused land into a park. Parts of the park were eventually destroyed and rebuilt and slowly established themselves in a part of the city.

Guerilla Park, Welland, ON, Canada, Art at the Park

Guerilla Park, Welland, ON, Canada, Art at the Park

The area of ​​Guerilla Park was systematically neglected, and in 2013, several locals, including visual artists and guerrilla gardeners, completely renovated the space. They renovated overgrown flower plantations, added outdoor paintings, and oversaw the general maintenance of the landscape.

Although the area of ​​this park is officially municipal property, volunteers initially asked what local organization was responsible for maintaining the park. They met with representatives from the City of Welland and made an unofficial verbal agreement that ensured that although the city owns the land, volunteers can continue to maintain and garden in the area.

The park attracts some local music, creative and artistic young people, and it was also a space for a variety of disorganized, improvised and small events such as art events.

The benefits of guerrilla gardening

More green space is always a good and positive thing, especially in crowded and large urban areas and cities. Not only do guerrilla gardens beautify abandoned and neglected land, but they also benefit the local community and strengthen their pride.

In the case of fruit and vegetables, they can provide a source of fresh food for those residents who may be less affluent or homeless, and so seems a good deed. If more such land is created, there will be more habitat and food for useful pollinators and insects that are often threatened in such urban areas if they do not find their way to lush flower meadows or other crops. Also, guerrilla gardens are a boon for guerrillas, gardeners, and all other people.

Manufacture of seed bombs for guerilla gardening

Source Flickr: Seed Bombs

Guerrilla gardeners and all those who feel that way can make their own seed bombs. To make such bombs all two layers of different compost or soil need to be sprayed, which must first be sifted through a sieve. One part must be made of clay or clay soil because the texture of such soil is sticky. Clay soil can be dug into almost any garden. After that, we add as much water as needed to get the consistency of the dough.

We use seeds, which are made from a mixture of several packages of seeds, either purchased or preserved from the garden. A good choice for growing guerrilla gardening is drought-tolerant types of flowers, such as sunflowers and calendula, and spinach, radish, tomatoes, kale, and green vegetables. salad. Likewise, all plants that are native to the area that wants to make a guerrilla garden are good.

All ingredients except the seeds need to be mixed and the larger pieces chopped and, if necessary, added little by little until the mixture is glued to itself. Make sure it is neither wet nor slimy.

A spoon-sized lump is then made and gently aligned to place a pinch of seed in the middle. Pressed lightly to make sure it got into the clay and compost mixture. It is best to let the ball dry for at least 48 hours before planting, and it can be stored for up to six months in a sealed container. Before storing it is necessary to check that the ball is completely dry. Seeds bombs made in this way are designed to withstand adverse conditions.

For guerrilla gardening, it is great to target the bare ground as there are few plants that can compete with the jungle of already established weeds. Seed bombs are a very good way of planting native species and will greatly increase their chance of success if they flood and soften the soil on which they are intended to be planted. The bombs are nested in half in cultivated and treated soil, leaving a space between each to allow potential plants and roots sufficient space for healthy growth and development. When possible, water the plants for the first few seasons after they have sprouted.

It is best to plant the bombs in early spring before the rest of the adjacent herbs are restored. Seed bombs need water and moderate temperatures to thrive, and if they are thrown in the middle of a drought, their chance of success and survival will be greatly reduced.

The point of this endeavor is to distribute and donate seed bombs to increase the number of participants in guerrilla gardening. In the world, such bombs have become a popular gift, and most importantly, they are completely dry before packing.

Guerrilla gardening has no negative impact on humans and especially on nature. On the contrary, it aims to re-cultivate and utilize abandoned land, parts of the city and those areas where you might never think anything can grow. Even though it was just decorative flowers, which may be only aesthetically appealing to us, it is very beneficial to the wildlife for survival.