Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Guerrilla Gardeners and Green Seed bombs

Let’s fight the filth with forks and flowers’. I like this. It is so heart-warming and makes me smile.

Last week, whilst channel hopping I stumbled upon a Food show on one of the satellite channels on which renowned Guerrilla Gardener Richard Reynolds was appearing.

Guerrilla Gardeners also known as Green Guerrillas are radical and political gardeners. Guerrilla Gardeners take over an abandoned piece of land which they do not own and plant trees, sow seeds or plant a new vegetable patch. Guerrilla gardeners use a form of direct action to reclaim neglected and derelict land so that it develops a new positive ‘green’ identity. This renewed place is beneficial not just to the surrounding wildlife, but impacts on the behaviours and moods of people. Some guerrilla gardeners carry out their work at nigh in secrecy. Others work more openly, directly engaging with members of the local community and local council to sow seeds, plants and crops.

Richard was on this particular show to share the work of the Guerrilla gardeners around the world, promote environmental awareness, and how we as individuals can play our small part. He was also on the show to showcase these fantastic green seed bombs.
The green seed bombs are actually little capsules made from recycled materials, organic compost and fertilizer. Each is implanted with wildflower seeds indigenous to that region. These seed bombs have been designed to be thrown into dull and neglected places in the city and brighten that space not just for the human eye, but also for the wildlife, especially the bees and the butterflies. All that is required is a little helping hand from mother nature in the form of rain and then the seed bombs self-destruct (a bit like MI technology) or should I say be more poetic and say, they disintegrate and become one with nature.

This ‘seed bombs’ initiative of creating and greening the city was originally pioneered in New York in the 1970s, when environmentalists filled condoms with seeds, water and fertilizer. This initiative is still going strong in some parts of the States, as well as Australia. If you check out Richards blog, you will see that it has even impacted on other counties.
Anyway, I was well impressed with the ingenuity of these seed bombs. The seed bombs are cheap and easy to make. I would have be happy to give you the recipe, but thought it was better to give you this link where Richard demonstrates how to make these from scratch.
If you don’t want to get your hands grubby, you can also buy these seed bombs in the shape of petals, a pistol.
as well as aesthetically pleasing ones such as an Opium plant and even a grenade bomb. I read that the grenade seed bombs were moulded from old newspapers and teabags in which seeds are both implanted as well as contained within its hollow core, so they rattle a bit when you shake them. The kabloom grenade shaped seedboms were launched by Scottish Guerrilla Gardener Darren Wilson last year. As much as I like them, and I really do, I would like to advise you that they cost around £9.99 for a pack of four. So I would strongly recommend making your own and getting your hands dirty, especially as it is something that is going to disintegrate into nature.

Thanks to Richard Reynolds I will be making some’ loopy’ lupin and ‘nasty’ nasturtium seed bombs this year, or will that be naughty of me - you know the reputation nasturtium seeds have.
Ah if you still want the recipe Lush USA have got a quirky poster for it. Just follow this link. PLEASE NOTE: Images in this post are not mine. If i've done it properly, you should be able to click on the images for the source.

22 comments:

  1. Great post Mangocheeks and I like the idea of the seed bombs which I haven't come across before. Funnily enough, we were discussing guerilla gardening last night at our Transition meeting. We've got some money with which to buy some fruit trees which we had initially been planning to just plant wherever. But with a bit of consideration we now realise we don't have any derelict plots where the trees wouldn't be ripped up or mown down. So now thinking will have to engage with the local council.
    What reputation do nasturtiums have?
    CT suggests phacelia as a bomb constituent as long flowering, pretty and excellent insect plant.

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  2. I am armed and ready, Mango! Great post. I am going to make some of these and toss away (also to give as gifts to friends). One of my favorite artisan soaps came in a brown wrapper with wildflower seeds embedded in it.

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  3. Hi yah mangocheeks, I also was impressed with the Guerrilla Gardener ideas and I have also dabbled in the seed bombing of my local environment.

    My Maidstone group hasn't really taken off though so I do so on my own or with the kids for company.

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  4. I really like the idea of this, we have lost so many of our native wildflowers, I'm thinking I could re-populate some of the local fields like this...mmm cunning plan hatching...

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  5. Seed bombs! What a great idea and I just now hear about them from you. Thanks! My garden needs to be seed bombed. Maybe that would work. I'll look around for those bombs or maybe make some myself? I'm going to try and grow some veggies this Spring in some large planter boxes I built.

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  6. New to your Blog .We both have something in common and that is growing an organic garden .I have a small organic garden in my backyard which I am very passionate about .I am also doing composting and vermicomposting .Do drop by my blog www.padhuskitchen.blogspot.com You can check out my post on How to Compost

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  7. Such a beautiful quote... and an amazing mission! I love the idea of the seed bombs - thank you so much for introducing me to them! Such an incredible, powerful way to transform and reclaim the landscape!

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  8. I love this idea! I didnt know that you could buy them though, i will be sure to pick some up if i see them for sale.

    Rose

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  9. I'm sure your Nasturtiums will grow wherever you decide to 'bomb'.I'm still pulling seedlings out from between my paving from two years ago.

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  10. I love the Guerilla Gardening movement. It is great. I wish people would do more here. It makes me sad to see a desolate lot, where flowers could be growing or it could be used as a community garden.

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  11. I tried to post earlier but had trouble, for some reason. Just wanted to say thank you for visiting my blog- you very well might be the first person to have done so! I'm also glad you commented because it gave me the chance to check out your blog. Lots of interesting posts on here that I plan to entertain myself with today!

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  12. Beautiful blog that you have. I love the idea of the seed bombs. I think I'm going to make me some :-)

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  13. Thank you so much Choclette.
    Sorry what do you mean by Transition meeting? Working with the council is a good idea, but maybe you should also consider working in partnership with some schools, nurseries or even a community project.
    Nasturtiums self seed and its not good if planted in the wrong place, such as a compost bin:D which is something one of my fellow plot holders realised last year!

    So CT suggests phacelia - the scorpionweed as a seed bomb. I will keep that in mind. Oh don't be that impressed I had to cheat and check out the internet for more info on the pretty purple phacelia, as it was new to me. Thank you.


    Thank you Barbara!
    I think most people would apprciate them as gifts, esp if they don't have to get their hands dirty. The soap sounds lovely, I bet it smells great too.


    Hi Kella,
    So great to hear that you have already 'seed bombed' parts of your local environment.

    Sometimes its the individual actions that have greateer impact. I truly admire that.

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  14. Thanks Cathy,
    Its so nice to hear from you.
    Grand plan to repopulate our lands native wildflowers, lets hope many others join us!


    Hi Callie.
    You may be able to order some of those seed bombs over the web. Look fora=ward t readign that you garden has become a haven for wildlife and a place for you to enjoy too.
    That is how I started with veg, it was in my flat window box: herbs and carrots and then my desire to grow big...and here I am now with an allotment...oneday a bit more land. Good luck with it.


    Welcome Padhu.
    So nice to make your acquaintance. I will be over to check out your blog.


    Hello Astra.
    It is an amazing mission and one we can all truly be part of!


    Hi Rose,
    I read that this initiative is happening in Australia too, so you should be able to order some seed bombs closer to home.

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  15. Hi Jo.
    I know, I know, thats why I call them nasty Nasturtiums, but reliable.


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Two Vegan Boys. Most appreciated.


    Hello and Welcome to my blog RGVeggie.
    It is so nice to make your acquaintance. Sorry, but I have not idea why you were not able to post yesterday, but I am so glad that you came back and did so.
    I will be back to visit your blog for sure. Warm wishes from a cold corner of Scotland.


    Thank you so much Paul :-)

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  16. This is really awesome! Put a huge smile on my face!

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  17. Oh Fred I am so pleased. Thank you.

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  18. Hi Mangocheeks
    Oh no, not "nasty nasturtiums" - the whole plant is edible and the flowers are delicious in salads and sandwiches - hot and sweet. The seeds make good caper substitutes and the leaves can be eaten in salads. It has powerful antimicrobial properties as well and they look so pretty and cheerful.

    Phacelia is an excellent green manure as well as pretty - we grew it amongst our potatoes last year. Every allotment should have some.

    Transition movement is about communities coping with peak oil and climate change so encompasses lifestyle changes to make communities more resilient and sustainable. Check out http://transitionculture.org/

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  19. Your totally right Choclatte.
    I actually like growing them in their many different varieties, as well as eating nasturtiums. I even made nasturtium tempura last year. I recenly learned about the seeds being a good substitute for capers esp in piccallili. I only dubbed them 'nasty' when I saw a fellow plot holders compost bin growing nasturtium flowers, instead of withering away. This is good for the environment and for those who want to enjoy it in all its forms, but not for the compost bin, hence me calling it nasty nasturtium, but I guess I should have given them another name for its multiple uses. How about the noble nasturtium!

    I think I will do as you have with the phacelia this year. It will be nice for the colour too.

    Thanks for the link to Transition culture. I will check it out for sure.

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  20. Forgive me, in my speed to respond, I just noted I have spelled your name wrong. Genuine error, sorry :(

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  21. what a fabulous post MC. Sounds like you're gathering an army of followers and this is one fight I'm happy to encourage ;o)

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  22. Thank you Nic.
    Yes, since Christmas I have been bestowed with these wonderful followers, subscribers and readers. I am honestly so humbled. As always Thank you for your support.

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