Make flowers, not war!

Happy Administrative Professionals Day! By day, we all know I’m a paper pusher at a suburban Catholic church. My co-workers are absolutely wonderful; they always give me flowers and throw a little celebration for me.

Speaking of paper-pushing, last night, I had another meeting with the folks at Agape regarding the community garden. It was still an exciting meeting, but now the hard work begins of organizing a gardener’s event, typing up agendas and flyers,  talking to area businesses about donations, and making phone calls :). I’ve worked on enough community projects to understand that there inevitably is work involved that isn’t exactly glamorous or fun, and I’m fine with that. It helps me to think of building a foundation – all of the behind the scenes or administrative work is what you stand on when the actual project comes together. I remember reading a chapter out of this book about the secretaries who worked with Martin Luther King, and how they would run off copies for hours on end some days. Their hard work was part of what allowed people to get the word out about the Civil Rights Movement.

Anyway, that is neither here nor there. What I REALLY wanted to tell you about is guerrilla gardening. You’ve probably heard of yarn-bombing, birdhouse-bombing, and a few of the more well-known forms of street art. For a long time, I’ve tried to think of ways to do street art in the form of gardening. I’ve thought about planting tomatoes or lettuce in abandoned lots and leaving them to survive on their own, but the more I read about the levels of contamination in our city soils the less of a good idea that sounded like. I wouldn’t want someone eating a tomato or picking lettuce and getting sick.

However, last night one of the Agape folks told me about seed-bombing with wildflower seeds. She first heard about it in Riverwest, my old stomping grounds. Apparently, during the Riverwest 24 one of the activities involves chucking seed bombs down an alley with a lot of green space. I love it. It’s such a Riverwest-esque thing to do!

I did some research on Pinterest today, and it seems there are two main methods for making seed bombs. One involves shredding old newspapers in a blender with water and adding seeds (sort of like paper mache) and the other involves mixing dried clay (the cosmetic stuff you get at a heath food store) with worm castings and adding seeds. Both sound amazingly messy and awesome :). I’m going to try both methods; my thought is that the clay/worm castings will germinate better because it’s getting more nutrients, but who knows?

The whole reason the topic came up is because they recently tore down a condemned building next to the community garden. As you can imagine, the lot is in pretty sad shape right now. If there’s interest, we would like to try to lease or even purchase the lot from the owner and expand the garden. However, in the meantime, we’re thinking about getting permission from the owner to seed-bomb it! We’d like to do wildflower seeds, with a focus on flowers that attract pollinators. I’m thinking it would be an awesome project to do for a Kids Day event in the garden.

Want to know more about seed bombs? Here are tutorials for the two methods I mentioned:

Dried Clay Method

Shredded Paper Method

Now get on out there and make your neighborhood beautiful!

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