Friday, May 01, 2009

Freedom Shenanigan # 37
Be a Guerrilla Gardener
(A subversive seed sower)

May 1st has been declared International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day. Why May 1st? According to the site it's a day that is traditionally a celebration of the first day of summer and nature's fertility. And, native sunflowers are used because they attract wildlife, require minimal care and of course, are nice to look at.

Guerrilla Gardeners, this is a growing movement of green enthusiasts who transform abandoned patches of land in cities by planting in neglected public spaces and vacant lots. Their goals include creating a better community by improving the landscape and quality of life there, and helping urban ecosystems by planting mostly native plants to attract wildlife to those areas.

Technically, the act of planting on property that isn't yours is a form of vandalism, like graffiti. (so embrace your inner outlaw) While many guerrilla gardeners plant out in the open in broad daylight as a community endeavor, part of the appeal for many others are the nighttime planting parties, where members go on "seed bombing" runs, secretly beautifying these abandoned lots to avoid possible arrest. However, there have been no reports of arrests, just inquisitive questioning from law enforcement and other public officials.

The act has become popular worldwide and it has gained momentum thanks to Internet gardening blogs and sites like, Los Angeles Guerrilla Gardening, and Public Space in Canada.

Furthermore, there is another socio/political aspect to this. The use of hemp seed in a "seed bomb" is growing as frustration with arcane chemical industry protection laws is blooming. Technically, Hemp Is Not Pot: It's the Economic Stimulus and Green Jobs Solution We Need. However, being a "Johnny (Marijuana) Hempseed." may also be a solution to the wacko prohibitionist authoritarian mentality