Thursday, April 7, 2011
Urban Land Scouts--Seed Bombs
Last year, when Katie Ries was showcasing her Urban Land Scouts exhibit, I had just gotten a Shitty Summer Job, and could only make it to one of the events. It was then that I vowed that if the Urban Land Scouts were to ever meet formally (or informally), I'd be there. I have been fortunate to attend the weekly evening workshops at Beardsley farm for the last couple of weeks, and am starting to look forward to the rest of the meetings even more.
seed bombs (and no, they're not nearly as violent as they sound--just balls of compost, clay, and seeds). As much as I am excited for and supportive of the Urban Land Scouts, I have to admit that at first, I wasn't looking forward to making these; they seemed haphazard and unimportant. However, as my hands sank down into the bucket of compost and clay, as I began mixing and forming the seed balls along with my seed-ball-forming team, I started to understand the process in a different way. First of all, it was just that--a process; I got to spend time with fellow scouts, talking and keeping my hands busy. And as Katie said, the seed bombs are a hopeful gesture--they are little parcels of seeds that go where a gardener wouldn't, and they provide edible plants for an uncared-for space. Because seed bombs are (often) not tended by anyone, they are at the disposal of nature's cycles; when it rains next, the seed bombs we launched last night will start disintegrating, and some seeds will (hopefully) begin germinating. I think that my initial hesitance about seed bombs was about just this: I was only in control of depositing them, but not much else, and because it's my first year growing anything, I've wanted to have control over the plants at every stage. With seeds sown outside of my control, I don't have a say, and so can only observe what happens. And I think I'm fine with that.
(And this part is more for my records than anything else, just in case I want to look in on some of the seed bombs we threw last night: in the planter on the side of the Technology Center; in the raised beds in the front yard of an abandoned house, the old playground, the abandoned school..)