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Going Undercover: Guerrilla Gardening

 
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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What, you've never heard of guerrilla gardening

So, what do you do if you don't have much land, there's no community garden within 87 miles, and you want to grow your own food?  Why, you use someone else's land!  Simple.

Guerrilla gardening is growing food (and other stuff) on other people's land, without permission.  Sometimes it's government land.  Sometimes it's Department of Transportation land.  Forest Service land.  MAFIA training  ground.

You know what the original crop of guerrilla gardening was, right?  Yep!  California's Number One cash crop.

But our kind of GG is a kinder, gentler, less-illegal kind of growing.

If you want to start in a small way so you don't have to lay awake at night waiting for the SWAT Team, you could start with that strip in front of your house, between the sidewalk and the street.  That doesn't really belong to you, but the city/county doesn't care.  Then notice that there are other strips all down your street, maybe even both sides.  Unplanted.  Unwanted.  Bare and ugly.

Once you've got that planted, you will start casting your eye further afield.  That weedy patch that your neighbor never mows.  The vacant lot down the street that has had a 'for sale' sign on it for fifteen years.  The neglected little 'park' where all the grass is dead and it has thistles all around it.

Once you start looking, you will see all kinds of prospective planting sites.

You will need weapons: trowels, loose seeds, seedballs, a gallon jug of water...

You will need a command post and instruction:  Primal Seed has bravely stepped forward to take on the job at http://www.primalseeds.org/guerrilla.htm

Check it out, it could open up a whole new world.

Sue
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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we live in the country and I have been gardening the county strip (about 40' here called a ditch)..for many years..and the county is so nice..they even make sure if they see flowers they don't do the annual mowing where they are growing.

go figure..one time they mowed em down and I called and politely asked if they would refrain and they do.

now i go along and pick the seed heads and spread them farther afield..I have a section that is about 3000' long now that I walk and spread seeds each late summer..beginning with my house and going both directions..and even around a corner..

i've gone so far as to throw flower seeds out the car windows..
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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> i've gone so far as to throw flower seeds out the car windows..

Make some Seed Balls https://permies.com/permaculture-forums/974_0/permaculture/seed-balls-a-good-winter-project and you can throw them farther, with more accuracy! The birds won't eat them, and they will be safe until it rains enough.

Sue
 
master steward
Posts: 31512
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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A previous thread on this

Starhawk has a story about a class in Seattle for making "seed bombs" (mixing manure, clay and seeds that can be tossed into areas where things are not growing well) where the police came and shut them down because they heard about class on how to make bombs. 

 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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sigh

Lesson:  Word your class titles more carefully or "Homeland Security" (what a misnomer!) will get you.
 
steward
Posts: 5284
Location: United States
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BUMP! Hello all Guerrilla Gardeners out there! I would like to inquire more about the methods and techniques that everyone uses. Do you do seed balls, seed bombing (seeds, no explosives involved), broken pockets for strategic seed droppings like Masanobu Fukuoka suggested in podcast 007, guerrilla grafting, bare seed throwing, planting, or any other techniques out there? What kinda clothing do you wear when guerrilla gardening? What do you say when someone asks you a question? Has anyone ever been questioned by an authority, if so, what happened and how was it resolved? Has the city, home owner's association, or any neighborhood watches been suspicious? Is it better to do guerrilla gardening in the daytime or nighttime? Any tips?
 
gardener
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Night time is better. One of the neighbors saw me planting a crabapple tree in a park so they chopped it down and poisoned it with toxins. Thank you parks dept. I'm so glad I pay my taxes. A lot of them have been chopped down. Some people guerilla graft. When there is a tree that has been tortured genetically so it won't fruit=flowering plums, cherries, pears, etc. They graft on an edible branch, and get fruit. Recently I've been working with more cooperative members of the parks dept. and got their ok. There are moles inside the enemy, but they have to be discreet. I planted two different strips of varied fruit trees.
John S
PDX OR
 
pollinator
Posts: 107
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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I found a patch of untouched  property behind a fence of a main walking path nestled in the center of a suburban neighbourhood ive been planting apples pears now nuts persimmon plums locust and my new favourite apple kazakhstan apples :) pretty soon it will also have eldeeberry currant and grape ! Lol nobody asks me questions i just bring a wheel barrow and some tree sesdlings and giver ...somstimes i get weird looks but its just a big patch of tansy and grass!
 
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I put in a 4x4m greenhouse before my property inspection was due. It's very stylish, two insulated solid walls, double polyethylene, timber frame, polycarbonate roof...

He looked at it and said 'that's really nice' before I distracted him with some aquaponics. Now the landlord has put a path up to it for me.

That was pretty Guerilla imo. I made it so nice how could he not want it on his property. It is a shed/greenhouse. It has class. It puts the value of the land up.

That is also how I feel when planting without permission. Am I making this place more beautiful and functional or am I just making a mess they'll bulldoze.

That is also how I feel when I'm planting land I'm allowed to plant.

Rushing in in dead of night to show your love for the planet by disturbing other peoples property for your own agenda needs to be done with forethought, attention and love.

While trying to stop all this ecological vandalism, be wary not to become the vandals.



 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1739
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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http://guerrillagardening.org/ An interesting site on this subject. I think this is where I first learned about the technique.

And then there is Johnny.

Hugelkultur & growing things not easily recognizable as food are your friends. Seed balls are good for more visible/public locations.

 
Posts: 95
Location: cornwall, england
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I bring a camera and if anyone asks I'm just doing a little nature photography... No has ever actually asked as of they look like they are going to a snap a picture.

I also own a lot of hi vis jackets as I'm a geologist. No has ever questioned me while wearing a high vis
 
Posts: 571
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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natasha todd wrote:No has ever questioned me while wearing a high vis



those days might be over
 
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