Stop That … Um, Gardener?

Guerrilla gardening—planting flowers, fruits, vegetables, insert-seed-here on abandoned or neglected patches of ground—gets lengthy feature treatment in a couple of Left Coast newspapers. In the Los Angeles Times, there’s even a (hilariously ecohip) photo primer on how to make seed bombs (for surreptitious planting). This is guerrilla gardening’s moment: Richard Reynolds, the London founder of the movement, has a just-out book, On Guerrilla Gardening, and so do the folks behind the blog Homegrown Evolution, The Urban Homestead.

As the Times reports, the smallest plots yield impressive returns. A couple of friends recently raised “a farmers market worth of crops—corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon, cucumber and more—in a guerrilla dig at a large planter bed in front of an office building on Bundy Drive in West Los Angeles.” But once they’d planted produce for the winter—“garlic, potatoes, radishes, carrots, lettuce, onions and more”—the property’s owner, after “leaving a cease and desist letter, rototilled the whole plot.”

The article is highly encouraging for gardeners who are working on public land, though. And the Seattle Post-Intelligencer spotlights a push there for legislation that would permit residents to grow vegetables in roadside or median plots. And “[s]ome Seattle officials are pushing for a citywide inventory of public land that could be used to grow food, potentially including parks, land under power lines or even future reservoir caps.”

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