Guerrilla Gardening (Envirowriters)

Read at :

http://envirowriters.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/response-6-guerrilla-gardening/

Guerrilla Gardening

Guerrillagardening.org is leading a movement in making use of neglected land for growing corn, lettuce, flowers, and basically any type of plant. The word has been spread very well about this project; many people in the U.S. and Europe have invested time into it. There are different ways to contribute, such as donating money and equipment, or finding unused soil and planning a gardening day. For people participating, the website allows you to post pictures and information on your projects, this allows more publicity for the project overall. Another way the site puts itself out there is through social networking sites such as, Facebook, and Twitter. The press has also spread word of Guerilla Gardening, which caused controversy and support for the risky project.

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Become a nature guerillero: make your own seedbombs (Google / Ecologist)

Read at : Google Alert – container gardening

http://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/gardening/867935/what_is_a_seedbomb.html

What is a seedbomb?

Josie Jeffery

In an exclusive extract from her new book, Seedbombs: Going Wild with Flowers, author and gardener, Josie Jeffery, explains the seedbomb phenomenon

When I tell people I make seedbombs, they look puzzled and ask, ‘What is a seedbomb?’. They think they are edible (some fancy new superfood) or a cosmetic product. Rarely do people think they are horticultural. I smile and begin a well-rehearsed explanation. Firstly, they are NOT EXPLOSIVE OR EDIBLE! A seedbomb is a little ball made up of a combination of compost, clay and seeds.

‘What is it for?’
The compost and clay act as a carrier for the seeds so they can be launched over walls or
fences and into inaccessible areas such as wasteland or railways. ‘But what is the point? Why can’t you just throw seeds loose?’ Most seeds are very light and there is risk of them being blown away by the wind, making them unsuitable for launching long distances.

‘How do I make them?’
There are various ways of making seedbombs. You need to find a carrier for the seeds. My method uses natural ingredients – compost and clay. The compost offers nutrients for the seeds to germinate and grow strong during their infancy and the clay binds the seedbomb, making it hard enough not to break when it hits the ground.

‘How do they work?’

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Guerrilla Gardening and the Combat of Desertification (Brigit Strawbridge / Willem Van Cotthem)

One of my Facebook friends, Brigit Strawbridge, shared with us the following :

http://www.guerrillagardening.org/pimpyourpavement.html

Pimp Your Pavement

is a project from GuerrillaGardening.org.

For six years I’ve been cultivating neglected patches of land in my neighbourhood of the Elephant & Castle. Driven by a life long love of gardening, a lack of a garden, and the fun of doing it in public I found easy opportunities in the abandoned flower beds, neglected traffic islands and tree pits near me. Since then I’ve gardened alongside hundreds of others and met a lot of inspiring people who are doing the same thing as me in corners of their community all around the world.

It’s my hobby, my passion and I’m keen to get more people gardening like this. The local overlooked landscape – in both meanings of the word – forgotten about but also in great view is a space in which we can make a very tangible and welcoming contribution to improving our local environment, both ecologically and socially. As a guerrilla gardener, blogger, author and talker on the subject, I’ve got plenty of people involved too, but guerrilla gardening is just a strategy, and the result can be all sorts of landscapes of varying scales and purpose, sometimes overtly provocative. I’ve noticed that enthusiastic newcomers can feel a bit daunted by expectations of enormous transformation and the risk of prosecution for criminal damage (even though both are quite unlikely)!

This campaign will be a way of giving people, particularly newcomers, a very tangible objective – transforming a patch of pavement and taking back responsibility from the local authorities who have plenty of other things to be concerned with on our behalf.

Pimp Your Pavement will be a more palatable way of inviting the authorities who are in charge of most of our pavements to participate in this grass roots enthusiasm. In cities around Europe (Zurich, Berlin, Amsterdam and to a much lesser extent London) I’ve seen how guerrilla gardening can change the authorities view of their responsibilities, and I’m keen that these examples are inspiration to encourage change in more places.

Explore these pages, join the Facebook Page, and if you’re already pimping pavements or helping people pimp pavements get in touch, share what you’re doing and let’s work together.

Richard Reynolds, 2010

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Brigit Strawbridge wrote : Pimp Your Pavement; what a great way to bring nature back to our streets –http://bit.ly/9o3ArH

http://www.guerrillagardening.org/pimpyourpavement.html

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I reacted immediately and joined ‘Pimp Your Pavement’ at

http://www.facebook.com/pimpyourpavement

where I read :

Transform a patch of pavement with a colourful addition of your own. Sow sunflower seeds in an empty tree pit, plant pansies in a derelict planter… the pavement is your canvas. Sow the seed, spread the word…
http://www.pimpyourpavement.com/

If we can ‘bring nature back to our streets’ and considering the success of ‘guerrilla gardening‘ in many countries, I sent the following comment to this Facebook page :

‘Guerrilla gardening being successful in the cities, even on the most incredible, infertile spots, it should be easy to grow some vegetables and fruit trees in the drylands of the developing countries too. Guerrilla gardening can pave the way to efficiently combat desertification, hunger, child malnutrition and eventually poverty by introducing small gardens around the houses of the rural and urban people. Let gardening guerrilleros reach hands and exchange their experience for the benefit of smallholder farmers in the drylands, in particular for their kids.  See the embryo of a kitchen garden in a refugee camp in the Algerian Sahara desert.’

2007 – Family garden in Layoun refugee camp (Tindouf area, S.W. Algeria, Sahara desert) – (Photo WVC)

The role of urban gardens, family gardens and school gardens (Willem Van Cotthem / IRIN / FAO)

For years we have been promoting family gardens (kitchen gardens) and school gardens, not to mention hospital gardens, in the debate on alleviation of hunger and poverty.  We have always insisted on the fact that development aid should concentrate on initiatives to boost food security through family gardens instead of food aid on which the recipients remain dependent. Since the nineties we have shown that community gardens in rural villages, family gardens in refugee camps and school gardens, where people and children grow their own produce, are better off than those who received food from aid organizations at regular intervals.

2007 – Family garden in Smara refugee camp (S.W. Algeria, Sahara desert), where people never before got local fresh food to eat

Locally produced fresh vegetables and fruits play a tremendously important role in the daily diet of all those hungry people in the drylands.  Take for instance the possibility of having a daily portion of vitamins within hand reach.  Imagine the effect of fresh food on malnutrition of the children.  Imagine the feelings of all those women having their own kitchen garden close to the house, with some classical vegetables and a couple of fruit trees.

No wonder that hundreds of publications indicate the success of allotment gardens in periods of food crisis.  See what happened during World War I and II, when so many  families were obliged to produce some food on a piece of land somewhere to stay alive.  In those difficult days allotment gardens were THE solution.  They still exist and become more and more appealing in times of food crisis.

2008-10-25 – Allotment gardens Slotenkouter (Ghent City, Belgium) at the end of the growing season

There was no surprise at all to read, since a few years that is, about a new movement in the cities : guerilla gardening.  Sure, different factors intervene in these urban initiatives, be it environmental factors (embellishing open spaces full of weeds in town) or social ones (poor people growing vegetables on small pieces of barren land in the cities).

Today, some delightful news was published by IRIN :”Liberia: Urban gardens to boost food security” :

“MONROVIA, 19 January 2010 (IRIN) – Farmers are turning to urban gardens as a way to boost food security in Liberia’s Montserrado County, where just one percent of residents grow their own produce today compared to 70 percent before the war.

………………

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is targeting 5,000 urban residents of Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Bong and Margibi counties, to encourage them to start market gardens or increase the amount of fruit and vegetables they grow on their farms. Participants had to have access to tools and some land.  The aim is to improve food security and nutritional status while boosting incomes, said project coordinator Albert Kpassawah. Participants told IRIN they plant hot peppers, cabbage, calla, tomatoes, onions, beans and ground nuts. Health and nutrition experts in Liberia say increasing fruit, vegetables and protein in people’s diets is vital to reducing chronic malnutrition, which currently affects 45 percent of under-fives nationwide.

………………………..

FAO assists primarily by providing seeds and training in techniques such as conserving rainwater and composting. The organization does not provide fertilizer, insecticides or tools – a concern to some participants. “You cannot grow cabbage without insecticide. It doesn’t work,” Anthony Nackers told IRIN.  Vermin, insects and poor storage destroy 60 percent of Liberia’s annual harvest, according to FAO.  And many of the most vulnerable city-dwellers – those with no access to land – cannot participate at all, FAO’s Kpassawah pointed out. But he said he hopes the project’s benefits will spread beyond immediate participants, since all who take part are encouraged to pass on their training to relatives, neighbours and friends.  And there is ample scope to expand techniques learned from cities to rural areas, he pointed out. Just one-third of Liberia’s 660,000 fertile hectares are being cultivated, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Let us express our sincere hopes that FAO will soon be able to show to all aid organizations that sufficient food production can be secured by the population of any developing country.  What is possible in urban areas of Liberia can be duplicated in any other country.  What can be achieved in urban gardens, can also be done in rural family gardens.  Why should we continue to discuss the alarming problem of those vulnerable children suffering or even starving from chronic malnutrition, if  school gardens can be a good copy of the successful urban gardens in Liberia?

Don’t we underestimate the role container gardening can play in food production (see https://containergardening.wordpress.com) and the pleasure children can find in growing fruit trees and vegetables in plastic bottles.  Pure educational reality !

We count on FAO to take the lead : instead of spending billions on “permanent” food aid, year after year, it would be an unlimited return on investment if only a smaller part would be reserved to immediate needs in times of hunger catastrophes, but the major part spent at the world-wide creation of urban and rural family gardens.

We remain in FAO’s save hands. We wonder what keeps United Nations to envisage a “Global Programme for Food Security” based on the creation of kitchen gardens for the one billion daily hungry people who know that we have this solution in hand.  Let us spend more available resources on “Defense”, the one against hunger and poverty!

Guerrilla Gardening (Google / Green Daily)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.greendaily.com/2010/01/08/guerrilla-gardening/

Guerrilla Gardening

by Cat Lincoln

How many times have you walked or driven past a vacant city lot and wished that someone would do something with that space?

In some case, Guerrilla Gardeners are taking action themselves, transforming neglected land into community parks, flower patches or urban vegetable gardens.

Richard Reynolds, the subject of the video above, is the author of “On Guerrilla Gardening” a book about this form of green direct action, which is almost 400 years old and practiced in more than 30 countries.

Covert ‘guerrilla gardeners’ beautify city (Google / ABC Local)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=7090788

Covert ‘guerrilla gardeners’ beautify city
abc7.com
These “guerrilla gardeners” are breaking the law. But is what they’re doing
wrong? Under the cover of darkness, on a busy street corner in Los Angeles,

<http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=7090788&gt;
See all stories on this topic:
<http://news.google.com/news/story?ncl=http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story%3Fsection%3Dnews/local/los_angeles%26id%3D7090788&hl=en&gt;

Guerrilla Gardeners (Google / Sydney Morning Herald)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainment/tv–radio/tv-reviews/guerrilla-gardeners/2009/02/16/1234632728536.html

Guerrilla Gardeners

Michael O’Reilly
February 17, 2009

Generally, I can’t stand gardening shows, probably because the only plants that survive under my care are cacti. But Guerrilla Gardeners is different, featuring an energetic team of do-gooders who give ugly, neglected corners of the urban landscape a makeover.

First project: a toxic square of land near the train station in Canterbury, which they set out to beautify without DAs, impact assessments, health and safety certificates and the myriad regulations that tend to stop things being done.

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The Dark Ages: guerrilla gardening (Googlme / Times.online)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article4285290.ece

The Dark Ages: guerrilla gardening

Here are the new revolutionaries, with determined looks on their bifocals, turning to mildly criminal pursuits. Camouflaged in a uniform of Marks & Spencer beige, you would not know that these Dundonians are heavily armed. But secreted in their handbags and eco-satchels are weapons: trowels, forks, seed bombs, sharp secateurs and hand-held cut-throat hoes. This is the new guerrilla gardening army. Be afraid, very afraid.

The army has assembled, undercover, at the Dundee Literary Festival to hear its leader, Richard Reynolds, give a talk on guerrilla gardening. “Troops,” he says, “we will fight filth with forks and flowers.” He urges us to attack stealthily, by night, clearing litter and planting glorious flora on grim municipal roundabouts, traffic islands and abandoned flowerbeds in council estates. Concrete monstrosities must be greened throughout the kingdom – and the world.

For the guerrilla gardening movement has gone international since I first met Reynolds two years ago in London. I hung out with him and some of his agents on a dark night on a roundabout in a nasty part of Southwark, illegally weeding and planting on neglected council soil. Then we went to the pub. Meanwhile, the roundabout has blossomed into maturity, and since that very early day, like many guerrilla movements, Reynolds’ army has gone from strength to strength, experiencing organic growth in both senses. He has been described as “Banksy with a trowel” and there are nearly 5,000 fly-by-night gardeners registered at http://www.guerrillagardening.org, including me.

Richard has written a book, and is now touring the country with lectures and a slideshow, consciousness-raising. But I didn’t expect to find him in Dundee, with a packed audience of genteel, recycling folk who are keen to take the law into their own hands and feel a frisson of excitement about possibly being arrested as they plant out another Michaelmas daisy beneath an underpass.

Any neglected spot is fair game for the guerrillas. “There’s a lot of orphaned land around,” says Reynolds. “We’re not so much kidnapping the land as fostering it.”

The lecture is inspiring: the first guerrilla gardener was Liz Christy in the Bowery, New York, in 1973. She was an artist who noticed tomato plants growing in derelict lots, and children playing there, and decided to scatter seeds. Then she found a huge lot, and with a team of “green guerrillas” cleared away old fridges and rubble to create a community garden. Christy died, aged 39, but the garden is still there at the corner of Houston.

Reynolds lives in an equally unpromising place, a rented ex-council flat in a block in Elephant and Castle. One night, about 2am, he had the urge to rescue the ugly planter at the flats’ entrance from desecration. He banged in cordylines and red and white flowers in stiff rows. “Very municipal-style planting,” says the self-taught gardener embarrassedly, but now he puts in acres of waving lavender on traffic islands that would make Gertrude Jekyll proud.

It turned out, when Reynolds registered the guerrilla gardening website, that there were already like-minded people across the world, just waiting to log in. In Berlin, a community had taken over wasteland, cleared it, and built an outdoor pizza oven. Meanwhile in Toronto, Posterchild 326 (the guerrillas have numbers and nicknames) was attaching mini windowboxes to lampposts – no flowerbeds needed. And in Whitechapel, there is an eccentric artist – Helen 1106 – who builds tiny fence enclosures for weeds that have grown through cracks in the tarmac.

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Guerrilla gardeners dig in to beautify Los Angeles (Google / AP)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iw64Nhb6HU9JlRfo2WC1EruttACQD91N7HBO0

Guerrilla gardeners dig in to beautify Los Angeles

By LAURA E. DAVIS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than a dozen people, some wearing orange protective gear, pulled rakes and shovels from a dingy shopping cart and started working on a parched patch of land along a busy off-ramp of the Hollywood Freeway. It was a Saturday night and drivers whooshed past on their way to the Sunset Strip club scene. But the crew was undeterred, and by the wee hours, they had transformed the blight into bloom with green bushes and an array of colorful flowers. City workers on overtime? Nope, no budget for that. These were “guerrilla gardeners,” a global movement of the grass-roots variety where people seek to beautify empty or overgrown public space, usually under the cover of darkness and without the permission of municipal officials. Continue reading Guerrilla gardeners dig in to beautify Los Angeles (Google / AP)

Guerilla Gardening: A Basic Guide (Google / Instructables)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.instructables.com/id/Guerilla-Gardening-A-Basic-Guide/

Guerilla Gardening: A Basic Guide

by photohippie

Guerilla Gardening is a type of nonviolent statement to bring about change in your community. It is just more accurately described by Wikipedia…

“Guerrilla gardening is political gardening, a form of nonviolent direct action, primarily practiced by environmentalists. It is related to land rights, land reform, and permaculture. Activists take over (“squat”) an abandoned piece of land which they do not own to grow crops or plants. Guerrilla gardeners believe in re-considering land ownership in order to reclaim land from perceived neglect or misuse and assign a new purpose to it.”

This is a guide to how I planted my first guerilla tree and everything I used in order to get it to this new location.