Seed Bombing-Provide Surprise!

Did you know the Civic Garden Center makes seed bombs? Called Bom-boms, a darling little package of six seed bombs can be purchased at the Civic Garden Center or found at fundraising and other events sponsored or supported by CGC. Puzzled about what to do with them?

The term “seed grenade” was first used by Liz Christy in 1973 when she started Green Guerrillas in New York City. Their idea was to toss little packages of seeds and soil over fences into empty lots in the city to beautify neighborhoods. Often their targets were privately owned, but neglected, properties, so the sort of under-the-radar nature of their activities seemed prudent. This was the start of the guerrilla gardening movement in the United States.

Since then, it’s grown (pardon the pun). Neighborhood gardening groups work in a more open fashion, much like the portrayal of New York City’s Green Guerrillas in the 1990 movie Green Card, but seed bombing of the more clandestine, individual nature still happens. You can go on the Web to find variations of kinds of seed bombs to be made at home and stories from the UK, to Scotland, to Canada of various groups’ activities. Some people pepper bits of land with flowers, but others bomb abandoned urban land with seeds that produce food to encourage urban foraging by people who would otherwise go hungry. In Los Angeles you can find coin-operated, fire-engine red vending machines, modeled after childhood candy dispensers, that provide gum ball-sized clay balls of seed and fertilizer for one and all to use in their neighborhoods. Kids love them.

Here in Cincinnati? Well, use your imagination. Perhaps you know of some bare spots that could use some beautifying. Or a sunny wall that would protect tomato seeds and a squash or two along its base. Or maybe you’ll see bits of land during your drives around town or while taking a walk in your neighborhood that could offer up some green surprises by summer. I can think of a neighbor who used to plant lovely flowers along her sidewalk, but is no longer physically able to do so. I suspect she would love seeing some Four-O-Clocks sprout where she always planted them when the weather warms. And I also can picture a couple of places mid-sized children frequent that could use some 2-3 foot tall, eye level, Teddy Bear sunflowers to delight both kids and birds. It really is just a matter of “toss and add water.” Provide Surprise!

Cindy Briggs

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