Thoughts on Guerrilla Gardening

Reclaimed GreenspaceThere are as many ways to guerrilla garden as there are stars in the sky, and that is the best thing about it. The best way to do it is your way and to just get started. Many people love to make seed bombs and drop them as a group, other people love sneaking privately about the city — planting plots. Some people like to be highly organized — others random and without a thought. The main thing that holds it all together is that we are people reclaiming the land around us, reaching out and getting involved, hanging around and making sure that it grows, and grows and is a pleasure for all who pass by.

I have recently started reading the book The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka and his natural farming methods have astonished me and made me rethink what little I thought I knew about growing plants. I was already familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s methods of biodynamic farming, yet even so this book has been a real mind-opener.

Although I have been planting things in random places for a few years I haven’t had a chance to really take over a piece of land in an urban setting until this year. I spent much of last year walking the streets around my area checking out pieces of land. I didn’t want it to be too far from where we live in case it didn’t rain much and I had to haul water every day. I didn’t want it next to a main road to avoid the pollution from car exhaust, and I wanted it to get plenty of sun and rain. I finally found a good spot on the Greenway under the skytrain and next to the train tracks not too far from our apartment.

I was interested earlier this year to see that there are classes offered on Guerrilla Gardening here in Vancouver and it seems to be quite an encouraged activity, even so I have to confess I sure get a kick out of doing something without permission. I love sneaking about, in the middle of the day or the night, planting and watering the garden.

It turns out that the term Guerrilla Gardening was coined over 30 years ago by the Green Guerillas in New York, and recently has been given a huge resurgence by the book On Guerrilla Gardening by Richard Reynolds published in 2004. He has a great site Guerrilla Gardening.org which is a gathering of guerrilla gardeners around the world and a great place to share stories, photos and tips. The whole concept of taking back the land has been around for much longer, the Digger movement which began in 1649 is an example of this.

Links

Guerrilla Gardening.org Great site with tons of resources, photos, tips and connections to other guerrilla gardeners.
Guerrilla Gardening.org Community
Holistic Agriculture and Sovereignty Library Lots of really good books to download.
Green Guerillas
Guerrilla Gardening: Toronto Public Space Committee
SoCal Guerrilla Gardening
Los Angeles Guerrilla Gardening
Digger Movement Book
San Francisco Digger Movement
The Oil Drum: Australia/New Zealand

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