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Posts Tagged ‘guerilla gardens’

Making Seed Bombs with Gardening Australia

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 17th, 2011

Image: urbanfoodie33 via flickr CC

“Seed bombs are a set and forget planting method that’s been used for centuries and they’re easy to make.”

This Saturday night on Gardening Australia, Jerry Coleby-Williams demonstrates how to make them.  (If you don’t want to watch it, there’s a fact sheet here on their website.)


Edible Street Gardens: The Need for Design Guidelines

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on August 12th, 2010

Source: Australian City Farms & Community Gardens Network

From “Farmers of the urban footpath & the need for design guidelines for street verge gardens”  by Russ Grayson:

Edible Street Verge Gardening is something that has been going on for the past 20 years or so in our cities but is now capturing the public imagination such that the number of plantings is rapidly increasing.  For advocates of edible landscaping in our cities, this is good news but for local government the practice can be confusing. What has become apparent during the recent upsurge in the popularity of edible footpath planting is that a set of design and planting guidelines are desperately needed.  Most verge plantings to date have been created by gardeners who know what they are doing. The possibility emerging from the current boost in popularity is that those less knowledgeable will create gardens with inappropriate plants and without considering other footpath users.

An established practice

Street verge gardening is the practice of growing ornamental, native or edible plants on the footpath. The rise in popularity of edible gardens has brought the planting of fruits, herbs and vegetables, sometimes mixed with flowers and native plants, to our footpaths. The practice has caught the popular imagination and is another means of returning food production to our cities.

That edible verge gardening is an established practice in Australian cities is revealed by a walk around those suburbs where the immigrants of the 1950s and 1960s made their homes, particularly those suburbs favoured by immigrants from the Mediterranean region. What do you find on the footpaths here? Olive trees, now mature and productive.

Unknowingly, some councils have made their own contribution to edible streetscapes. Take a walk along a certain street in Stanmore, in Sydney’s Inner West, and you encounter the Australian bush food tree, the Illawarra Plum (Podocarpus elatus). This strange, plum red fruit with its seed on the outside can be picked and eaten raw or made into a sauce by those with a little culinary savvy. Walk down a particular street in Windsor, Brisbane, and you encounter another Australian bushfood serving as a verge planting, the macadamia nut. Then there are numerous species of lillypilly, the Syzygiums, that have been established as street trees and that yield edible fruit.

These examples may not be in large number, however they have been noted by urban gleaners.

The rest of this comprehensive article covers Understanding council concerns, The realities of verge gardens, Design considerations for verge gardens, Functions, and Yields.

Guerilla Gardens & forward-thinking councils

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 7th, 2009

Source: Friends of the Earth Melbourne

Image: ubrayj02 via flickr CC

From “Guerilla Gardeners Get a Green Light“, by Sue Jackson

At its regular monthly meeting in August, Melbourne’s Yarra Council won itself a green star for forward thinking. Instead of razing local unauthorised street gardens as it had threatened to shortly before the meeting, it did a complete about-face, voting unanimously to become a champion of such initiatives instead.  Yarra, like quite a few other municipalities, is increasingly becoming dotted with community-initiated gardens. These include registered, secure community gardens that councils approve and support, but there are also others — guerilla gardens located in places like planter boxes in the street or on abandoned public land, which are established without prior council approval. As their survival relies on councils turning a blind eye, the future of each individual garden of this type is always precarious.

Guerilla gardeners live with this knowledge, but tend to push it to the back of their minds. At least that had been the case for me and my fellow renegades at Windmill Foodgarden @ Tramstop 22 in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill — right up until the axe fell in early August. The story of what happened next — the spontaneous campaign which overturned a silly decision so successfully that enemies of guerrilla gardens are now its friends — might be useful to anyone else out there trying to bring change on this issue at a local level.

Read the rest of this entry »