Rewilding: Guerrilla Seed “Bombs”


Image by Banksy

People often ask me how many mouths urban foraging can support. “Not enough,” I always say. Let’s change that. Guerrilla seed “bombs,” also known as “green grenades,” are little clay balls mixed with compost and packed with seeds. Tossing them along bike paths, abandoned lots and other public spaces helps plants take root, creating food for us as well as habitat for the nonhuman neighbors with whom we share our cities. You can find a recipe here.

Wondering who slinks about under cover of night? Check out Tom Brown Jr.’s “Field Guide to the Forgotten Wilderness,” a book filled with inspiring stories about the raccoons, opossums, weasels, rats, mice, snakes, birds, bats, insects and other friends who forage in the wee hours.

“Turning abandoned lots and alleys into little pockets of wilderness could bring mankind closer to a harmony with the natural world, and what better place to start than in the barren and sterile jungles of our cities,” Tom Brown Jr. writes. Here, here!

And thanks to Urban Scout for the tip.

6 thoughts on “Rewilding: Guerrilla Seed “Bombs”

  1. for the recent origins of and how to make ‘seed bombs’,
    do a ‘youtube’ search for ‘seed balls’ and /or ‘masanobu fukuoka’
    “the ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops,
    but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
    rather than throwing seed ‘bombs’
    one can toss seed ‘balls’ or scatter healing seed ‘balms’.
    much love many blessings

  2. this reminds me of an story i read long ago about a guy on a hot air balloon, dropping “b0mbs” of dandilion seeds in cow dung. I’m taking an environmental justice class right now about the difference between a true garden ethic and a “white culture” wilderness ethic.

    I’m working on a story now about nurturing communities by cleaning up garbage. in particular cigarette butts. no one sees them because of their ubiquity.

  3. Ben, you’re righter than you know about #2. I just checked out Jerry Mander’s books about television from the library (Four Arguments and In The Absence Of The Sacred) and he has some brilliant arguments about how television itself changes our internal environment such that we cannot relate to the natural world as it is anymore. If just that one thing changes us so materially, imagine what the rest of our lives, as we live them, are doing to us.

  4. Ben, great thoughts! Thanks.

    1) The clay ball is the trick that’s supposed to protect the seeds inside from becoming quick snacks. Throw enough out there and something’s bound to germinate, as evidenced by the amazing weeds that find a way to grow in the tiniest cracks of concrete!

    2) A fine point, and I agree. And I think every little bit helps!

  5. Two things:

    1) The non-human foragers mentioned might ingest some or all of a seed bomb. Any tips on getting the seeds to germinate instead of becoming rat food?

    2) The idea of mankind living in harmony with the natural world has its internal as well as external aspects. My study in somatics and traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes in-skin efforts as well as out-skin efforts. It takes more than a biologically rich environment to put human beings into greater balance; practices that influence cognition and physiology have their part to play, as well.

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