#453 Subversive seeds plant hope

Seed bomb

Josie Jeffrey rolling a seed bomb, from the video below

Guerrilla gardeners around the globe have devised a scheme for re-vegetating places we humans have stripped of beauty. Before seed bombing got its start as part of the guerrilla gardening movement, aerial reforestation was dropping seeds on burned-over areas. Then along came Liz Christy in 1973 and brought the idea to the people.

Christy and her Green Guerrillas started a movement that is still spreading beauty. They started by scattering seed bombs and tree pits in window boxes and vacant lots.

Then the Manhattan group cast their eyes on a garbage-strewn lot on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston Streets. With the blessings of the City’s office of Housing Preservation and Development and for a fee of $1 a month, they set to work. Nearly 40 years later, the Liz Christy Garden is still thriving.

Now community gardens are thriving in all kinds of places. So is seed bombing. It is guerrilla gardening at its simplest and best. Here are some examples:

  • Seed-Bomb Britain cycled around the country, tossing seed bombs as they went.
  • Kathryn Miller created a seed bombing project for greenmuseum.org.
  • Seed bombers in major cities around the U.S. are adding colour to vacant lots.
  • Los Angeles-based Greenaid fills old gumball machines with seed bombs and installs them around the country. To rent or purchase one, contact Greenaid.
  • Egyptian activists concerned about preserving biodiversity and native seeds are seed bombing out of concern for food sovereignty.

Seed bombing is an idea that puts a huge smile on my face. Thank you, guerrilla gardeners everywhere, for this kind of life-affirming subversion.

If you want to try some guerrilla gardening, watch Josie Jeffrey’s instructions for making seed bombs. You can find her on The Seed Bomb Laboratory, Seed Freedom and Twitter.

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