Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Green Guerrilla Gardening

I would like to propose a new quasi-political/philosophical group. I will call this group the Green Guerrilla Gardeners, and the mission statement will include fighting alienation in modern society, constructive anarchy, as well as subtly spreading green values (refer to 10 key values). Yes, I admit that I am a member of the Green Party of Ohio, albeit a right-winger. So sue me, as we say at Moritz--the Democrats are dysfunctional, ineffective moderates to my mind, nationwide and in Ohio in particular.

The idea is to literally plant seeds in any area where they may grow, such as roadside berms, the small concrete islands of greenery in front of Wal-Mart or strip malls, your apartment building, the local post office, next to sidewalks in your neighborhood, etc. It is taking the idea of a community garden and extending it to all areas in to which the public has access. The plants may be subtle or dramatic, from small colorful groundcover to giant sunflowers. Your target and purpose for that area as well as personal aesthetic preferences may determine the seeds or plants you choose. I have no idea whether maintenance people or herbicides will prevent the seeds from flowering, but presume it depends on the particularities of location and seeds we choose. I think it is reasonable to assume that barren spots in an otherwise tended garden accessible to the public like the one outside my apartment are seed-friendly locations.

Why should anybody try this experiment? Primarily because mowed, chemical fertilizer and insecticide-doused lawns are generic, impersonal and boring. Why not do more with them and see how much potential we can coax out of a few square feet of grass here or there? Also, I do not feel I have any part in the community region where the mall or other corporate behemoths take root. If I placed some flowers in their parking lot islands, I would be indicating that I care about the place where I live. I would have a stake in the property and location by planting seeds there. Doing so should cause no damage and in fact might make the location more attractive. If done quickly, or otherwise inconspicuously, it is an anonymous activity, causing no trouble for the guerrilla gardener. It is an embodiment of the idea that there is a place for nature in the most unnatural or moon-like concrete setting, so long as there is a spot with some grass or top soil. It is a reminder of how one person might make a difference in a community, and as such, an affirmation of the individual. I don't know about you, but I really need such a thing at this point in my life, if you can call it that.

I have not yet tried guerrilla gardening, as I must now wait until sping. I also do not have knowledge about plants and the type of soil or amount of sunlight they need. Also, I highly discourage use of non-native plants and invasive species such as wild lustrife, which is pretty but pushes out native species. I also discourage plants that cause harm such as poison ivy or similar irritants as they are not in accord with the philosophical basis of my plan. It is also irresponsible to anonymously plant anything that causes harm—whether we cause harm or goodness to another, I believe we should be accountable for the consequences of our intentional actions. I challenge you and me to give this a try and see if anything beneficial comes of it.

2 Comments:

Blogger harsh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:47 PM  
Blogger harsh said...

ack, damn post deletion. I'm onboard, I think this is a great idea. If you're in to this kind of thing, I recommend reading "Everyone in Silico" by jim munroe ( free pdfs available online).

1:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home