Comment on guerrilla gardening (Google / UCANR)

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UCCE advisor comments on guerrilla gardening

Author: Jeannette E. Warnert

The Los Angeles Times today ran an interesting piece on guerrilla gardening, the practice of surreptitiously planting flowers or vegetables on vacant land. The story focused on a Norwalk man who has secretly tended a cactus garden on a Long Beach street median for 10 years. For the story, freelance writer Joe Robinson spoke to UC Cooperative Extension Ventura County advisor Rose Hayden-Smith.

“It reminds me of the Vacant Lot Cultivation societies,” Hayden-Smith was quoted. In the wake of the economic meltdown of the 1890s, many American cities, from Detroit to Philadelphia and Boston, formed Vacant Lot Cultivation associations to encourage residents to grow food on public land. The Liberty and Victory garden campaigns of World Wars I and II, respectively, also exhorted Americans to raise food on untended public land. “If the federal government was paying attention, they’d be encouraging this right now,” with the price of food and fuel, Hayden-Smith told the reporter.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.