They call themselves the Guerrilla Grafters, and their vision is to see the trees lining the city streets begin to produce perfectly edible food.
I have been reading up on the diggers and levellers lately what with all of this land-grabbing that is going on around the world. Living in an apartment I always have my eye on any bit of land that looks fertile or even just neglected. Gerrard Winstanley was one of the original land-redistribution activists in the Western tradition. He wrote many pamphlets, this is his most extensive one which gives his ideas of the basic problem in our world (buying and selling) and how we can create a better world for ourselves and our children. It is quite extensive and the whole thing can be viewed here. I have taken some of my favorite passages for you below:
On the evening of August 20th 2009, I took my 20 minute walk, laden with water for my garden. It was the night of the black moon but I was happy loping down the hill the my little bit of greenspace. When I arrived and realized the garden had been mowed to the ground I was in such a state of shock, I went ahead and watered it and headed back home, feeling rather conflicted.
The revenge of the Bean Bandits and Pirate Tomatoes is upon us! I finally found a good spot on one of the Greenways of Vancouver BC. No one was using it, it got good sun and was just by a sky-train and rail-road tracks so it seemed a perfect spot. There is a lot more space available in this area,…
Any political, economic, theological, or philosophical system that in practice rewards production over life is illegitimate because, tautologically enough, it does not value the lives of its citizens over the needs of production. Such is sufficient to define illegitimacy. No other measure is needed.
By now it will have sunk in good and deep that my previous proposal to stage a debt repayment strike for just one month in September (09/09) [see article Gen X mentioned above] is impractical unless enough people get involved so that we cannot be ignored. Otherwise simply not paying a debt for a month will result in late charges, bouncing checks and other never-before-heard-of fees. For the first people throwing off this yoke of debt and refusing to be suckered by the Currency Controlling Witch-Doctors of the Apocalyptic Future its gonna have to be all or nothing.
Anyone considering such a step needs to think long and hard about their options. This is not the easy way out of your debt. It is a much harder road to take and will demand much personal sacrifice. For those who owe J.P. Morgan Chase, for example, feel no guilt for refusing to pay this debt. Realize it may be necessary to stop paying the debt permanently, and that this will most likely result in garnished wages and a bad credit history.
When considering such a drastic step, be aware that there are many ways to deal with this issue. Many people are having success by negotiating lower payments for bills and debts. Such alternatives are better options for people with kids or health conditions. For those of us who understand that we are at war with these bankers and don’t want to give them another cent, it is time to consider more direct action.
There 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.