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Guerrilla Seed Bombs

The Molotov cocktails of gardening

by Laura Neilson in Design on 03 May 2010

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Seed bombs—a simple mixture of clay, fertilizer and plant seeds—are a favored form of DIY "drop-and-go" weaponry among gardeners taking the greening of public spaces into their own hands. To aid the expansion of the guerrilla gardening movement in its persistent goal of transforming forgotten or abandoned urban landscapes into greener spaces, L.A.-based design firm Common Studio came up with pre-made seed bombs.

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As part of the interdisciplinary studio's "Greenaid" concept, they repurposed old quarter-operated candy machines to vend single seed bombs. Anyone can purchase one of the machines (approximately $400 each), which generate profit as they impact the local area's chances of becoming host to more colorful plant life by making seed bombs more accessible. As an added incentive, Common Studio will supply the seed bombs in mixes specifically developed for the local environment and its ecology. Interested buyers can get a quote on the vending machines by emailing them at "info [at] thecommonstudio [dot] com."

Similarly, the Cincinnati-based design firm VisuaLingual developed its own make of seed bombs. Available in three region-specific formulas—East Coast, West Coast and Midwest—each yields a colorful mix of florals. The pods come in satchels of five ($7) and sell through the company's Etsy shop.

For a more thorough look at both the histories and how-tos of guerrilla gardening, check out Richard Reynold's book "On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries," available from Amazon or Powell's.

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