Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seed Bombs; winning the war on concrete

Image courtesy of:
A brief introduction...

During our first couple of meetings we discussed what we wanted to do for our community.  During a few of those discussions, the idea of "Seed Bombing" surfaced and gained much approval from the members. For those who have never heard this term, you can find more information here, but basically it's the act of compiling a bunch of different plant seeds and compost material-compacted into a ball which can be lobbed into barren lots to create plant growth.  Now the legality of this has been debated frequently; many people have difficulty defining "littering" and therefore the act of Seed Bombing is in a legal grey depending on where you are. In some cases, can actually land you jail time, and in even weirder instances you can actually end up owning the property!

A little bit of history...

According to, " The earliest records of aerial reforestation date back from 1930. In this period, planes were used to distribute seeds over certain inaccessible mountains in Honolulu after forest fires." From  there it discusses other attempts to bring plant life to otherwise barren earth. The wikipage however makes no mention of the Guerilla Gardening Movement; so for that we turn to who claims, "Seedbombs originated in Japan and are an ancient technique called Tsuchi Dango (粘土団子,土団子,土だんご) which means 'Earth Dumpling' which was reintroduced by a Japanese microbiologist in 1938 called Masanobu Fukuoka." and later acknowledges the 1970s 'Green Guerrillas' and their transformation of abandoned New York City lots.  The entire article can be found here.

Our goal...

We will analyze different methods used by other ecotects and either build from their designs, on them, or create our own delivery method.  We will look at a variety of seed compatibilities, as well as fertilizer types, and water requirements. We will  focus on our materials to create a sustainable outcome.  Materials like styrofoam and latex are typical in these designs, however can cause more harm than the seeds do good. Our end goal would in creating these would to have a fundraising event that also raises awareness.  Since we are a student club, we are responsible for raising any necessary funding for any of our events, projects, and dues. These would hopefully be a part of a bigger discussion.

What seedbombing can do for you...

Although it seems like just small peas and carrots in the "Save the World" scene, it is a so-simple-it-hurts way of beautifying this city of ours and the world over. It serves as a way of letting the owners of the vacant lots around town to build, or let the plants build.  This has long been a method of repair, when in truth it should be a method of advancement. We as a people have learned of our actions on this planet, yet it's not too late to change, nor does it need to be as drastic as possible. Plant a seed, watch it grow, believe in tomorrow. With an ever rising planetary population, food shortage is a serious problem that won't be solved by preventing plants from growing.  Even if your concerns are a little more local, as in "my space, my greenery!" than why not create healthier, natural farming method. After all, we are just pawns in the plants' game; or in more poetic words:

"Many people think that when we practice agriculture, nature is helping us in our efforts to grow food. This is an exclusively human-centred viewpoint... we should instead, realize that we are receiving that which nature decides to give us. A farmer does not grow something in the sense that he or she creates it. That human is only a small part of the whole process by which nature expresses its being. The farmer has very little influence over that process... other than being there and doing his or her small part."
-Masanobu Fukuoka

If you would like to keep up with our Seedbomb updates, be sure to follow this blog, and our profile on twitter!

This post was written by Ian Salamanca; a member and webmaster for the Sustainability Club of LATTC
More Information:

  1. How to's
    1. has 6 methods
    2. show us the Do's and Don'ts of seedbombing
    3. You can always count on
  2. Legality
    1. asks their resident lawyer to explain this
  3. Successful Bombs
    1. Bombing with Trees
    2.'s Seedbomb forums
    3. The Mound at Brighton
    4. It doesn't mention where this is, but shows us beautiful flora
  4. Possible designs
    1. suggests a more typical bomb shape
    2. has a cheeky handgrenade design
    3. Howstuffworks shows us fully planted tree missles
    4. goes into small detail with a slingshot design
  5. Seedbombs in history
      1. Wikipedia has part of the story
      2. Seedfreedom fills in the gaps
      1. The man who planted trees
        1. The Story-
        2. The video-
      2. Johnny Appleseed
        1. Who was Johnny Appleseed?
        2. The Strangely True Tale of Johnny Appleseed
        3. His very own theme song!
  6. Seedbombs today
    1. Seed-bombing in Cairo - just a few days ago!
    2. Embroyonic Floating Seed Bubble in Toronto - Just a few days ago!

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