Relocalizing food production is one of the most important steps on the path to a sustainable society, and in times of great economic uncertainty, relocalizing food production is just plain sensible. It should bother us, therefore, when we see good land in our neighbourhoods sitting dormant and uncultivated, especially when it is right outside our own doorsteps.
Such thoughts crossed my mind every time I passed the empty ‘nature strip’ next to the road outside my home, so last weekend I engaged in my first act of “Guerrilla Gardening.” I planted in that nature strip a fine young mandarin tree (see photo). A small act, yes, but from small things, big things grow – the fruits of which we will all share.
For those unfamiliar with the term “Guerilla Gardening,” it refers to the cultivation of land that you don’t own but which you think you can enrich by cultivating productively – without permission, as such. Moderate beginners like me cultivate their nature strips without seeking council approval, but more serious Guerilla Gardeners (which I am making plans to become) survey their neighbourhoods for productive land that is just lying around unproductively, and then set about cultivating it. Perhaps there is a block of land that has been vacant for years; perhaps there is patch of earth here or there that looks suitable for a row of peas, some corn, or a fruit tree. Seek and ye shall find.
It’s important to be sensible, of course. One shouldn’t plant anything that might block vision of traffic, for example. But, after taking such precautions – and after cultivating one’s own garden first – one can then proceed confidently, knowing that Guerilla Gardening is a peaceful and honourable act of opposition. It should be clear enough that such acts will be justified in the eyes of posterity.
My lawyers tell me that I shouldn’t explicitly encourage Guerilla Gardening, since it is not technically allowed, according to the rules of Empire. So let me just note that sometimes it is much less wrong to break or bend the rules than it is to abide by them.
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.