Thursday, July 23, 2009

Everybody's Doing It!

Today has been a little quieter. After the excitement of donations and press coverage in the past few days I am feeling a little restless, but it's to be expected. I am so eager to DO things!
However in the calm before the storm I have found some more interesting links to share.
The first is a website called Kitchen Gardeners International. It's a website that connects gardeners of any level from all over the world through blogs, videos, groups, gardening tips, and whatever else.
Anyone who's been following the news has probably heard about the newly planted White House garden. Which is pretty awesome. This project was heavily promoted by a man named Roger Doiron through a program called Eat the View. He has a great video on his website that essentially shows him turning his lawn into a garden. He started a huge petition, and now the Obamas have a garden on the White House lawn for the first time since the 40's (I think)!
I went deeper into the mire of information and came across some other stuff, some of it... slightly questionable...? But also very interesting. There is apparently a loosely-affiliated, worldwide movement that's come to be known as Guerilla Gardening. I read an article about it in "In Good Tilth", a publication from Oregon given to me by a co-worker. Guerilla Gardening is... what it sounds like. People plant flowers, vegetables, whatever in public places subversively. I don't know if I really want to break the law, necessarily, but I like their intent. It's not too hard to plant a flower in a vacant lot.
I went further into the world of Guerilla Gardening and found this link that tells how to make seed balls (also known as seed bombs). Apparently, though I've never tried it myself, you can literally lay them on the ground. The seeds are protected in the clay and when enough water permeates, the seeds will sprout. It's a way to plant something randomly and not have to worry about it, hence its connection to Guerilla Gardening.
Then I stumbled across something ELSE, in the same blog, known as moss graffiti. You can literally paint with moss. What a great way to make a blank stone wall, a wooden fence, or a bare rock into a work of art. It doesn't sound hard, either... if the foodbank is going to help people start gardens, we can help make them beautiful, too! A garden should be a personal reflection of the gardener, and each space should be unique.
Also! I almost forgot! The Seed Ambassadors are an organization dedicated to the preservation of seeds for biodiversity and the preservation of heirloom varieties. I am still very new to the whole concept of seed saving, but it's very exciting to me because it means that community gardens would have a MUCH easier time staying around. If they saved their seeds, it would give them a much better chance of sustaining themselves into the future, concerning both food and finances. Two very important topics, as we all know... On their website they have a free, non-copyrighted publication that lays out the basics of seed-saving for many plants here.
All this subversive gardening got me thinking about all the unused, ugly space that could be converted to green, useful space, and it just goes to show that all we really need to do is turn the way we think about gardening 30 degrees or so. People are gardening in cities, in their homes, vertically... If we can make compost in our houses, we can garden in our vacant lots.
So say I! Even if you plant one more flower in your yard, it's that much prettier.
And so concludes another day in the world of this VISTA.

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